Some Crazy Starbuck Coffee Drinks You Need to Try Once in Your Life
While Starbucks offers a universal, standardized ‘official’ drinks menu, you can always indulge in what seems like an endless assortment of off-the-menu orders.
These unique beverage creations best known as the ‘Starbuck’s Secret Menu‘.
25+ Starbucks ‘Secret’ Menu Drinks Examples
While there are literally thousands of different ways to order a specialty drink at Starbucks, the following represent some of Starbuck’s most popular ‘secrets’ speciality drinks.
1. Captain Crunch/ Crunch Berry Frappuccino
To enjoy a Frappuccino that brings back childhood memories of digging into a bowl of Captain Crunch with Crunchberries, ask for a Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino with hazelnut syrup. Interestingly, there is an ongoing debate on whether hazelnut- or toffee nut syrup (or both) will create the perfect blend, and that just might be a matter of personal opinion.
One way to specifically request this drink is ask the barista to add caramel syrup (½ pump for a Tall, 1 pump for a Grande, 1 ½ pumps for a Venti); toffee syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 1 ½ pumps for a Grande, 2 pumps for a Venti); and hazelnut syrup (½ pump for a Tall, 1 pump for a Grande, 1 ½ pumps for a Venti) to a Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino.
2. Fruity Pebbles Frappuccino
Ask a barista to add vanilla syrup, raspberry syrup, and classic syrup to a Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino to create a beverage that tastes like Fruity Pebbles cereal. A bit of orange mango juice will also enhance the overall fruity flavor.
A Tall order is made with 2 pumps of vanilla syrup, ½ pump of raspberry syrup, and ½ pump of classic syrup. Increase syrup measurements by ½ a pump for each larger size.
Caramel and Nut Chocolate Bar Frappuccino: Toffee nut syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 2 pumps for a Grande, and 3 pumps for a Venti) added to a Java Chip Frappuccino with a caramel drizzle in the cup and as a topping is believed to taste much similar to that of a Snickers candy bar.
3. Caramel Cookie Bar Frappuccino
Better known as a ‘Twix Bar Frappuccino,’ ask for a Caramel Frappuccino with hazelnut syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 1 ½ pumps for a Grande, and 2 pumps for a Venti); java chips, and whipped cream blended in. The cup should be coated with a caramel sauce, and the drink is lastly topped with mocha drizzle.
4. Fall-in-a-Cup Latte
Pumpkin flavors are a seasonal favorite in autumn, and it’s quite easy to overdo it on the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. To enjoy something similar that pays the ultimate homage to fall, order a Pumpkin Spice Latte with caramel syrup and Chai Syrup topped with whipped cream, pumpkin powder, and a drizzle of caramel.
The suggested orders for a Tall, Grande, Venti, and cold Venti are as follows:
To enjoy the festive flavors of winter holidays all year round, order a Cinnamon Dolce Latte with white mocha syrup (1 ½ pumps for a Tall, 2 pumps for a Grande, 2 ½ pumps for a Venti) and peppermint syrup (½ pump for a Tall, 1 pump for a Grande, 1 ½ pumps for a Venti), which is then topped with whipped cream.
6. Thin Mint Frappuccino
When you can’t wait for Girl Scout Cookie season to arrive, satisfy a Thin Mint craving with a Tazo Green Tea Crème Frappuccino blended with chocolate syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 2 pumps for a Grande, and 3 pumps for a Venti), peppermint syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 1 ½ pumps for a Grande, and two for a Venti), and java chips.
Another Girl Scout Cookie-inspired favorite is the Samoa Cookie Frappuccino, which is recreated by ordering a Mocha Coconut Frappuccino made with 2 pumps of caramel syrup and extra coconut flakes blended into the drink. Caramel drizzle as a topping is optional.
7. Cake Batter Frappuccino
Start with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, and request one pump of almond syrup for a Tall, 1 ½ pumps for a Grande, or two pumps for a Venti to enjoy a guilt-free cake batter fix. It is not uncommon to find that a Starbucks does not carry almond syrup, where in which case, hazelnut syrup is an acceptable substitute.
Additionally, some consumers have heightened the drink’s appeal by asking a barista to add a cake pop (if available) into the mix before blending the ingredients.
8. Candy Cane Frappuccino
Order a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with 1 pump of peppermint syrup for a Tall drink, 1 ½ pumps for a Grande, and 2 pumps for a Venti.
9. Biscotti Frappuccino
Out of all the Starbucks Secret Menu drinks, the one with the most controversy surrounding it is probably the Biscotti Frappuccino. This off-the-menu item is made by purchasing a package of biscotti cookies separately and requesting the barista to blend them into a Frappe. The question arises whether or not baristas are actually permitted to add biscotti to the blender, and an even deeper assessment has been that using biscotti with nuts poses an allergy risk for other customers. Therefore, don’t be surprised if this request is ultimately denied.
10. Banana Cream Pie Frappuccino
The combination of a Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino with vanilla and hazelnut syrups, whipped cream and a whole banana (a separate expense), will create a taste experience similar to eating a slice of banana cream pie.
Prefer apples? Your barista can create an Apple Pie Frappuccino, which starts with a cream base filled to the first line, apple juice filled to the second line, 1 pump of Cinnamon Dolce syrup for a Tall (1 ½ for a Grande and two for a Venti); and 1 pump of caramel for a Tall (1 ½ for a Grande and two for a Venti). The drink is then topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel. If allowed, request ground-up biscotti as a crunchy topping.
11. Hot Butterbeer Latte
In order to truly appreciate the meaning behind this whimsical drink creation, you’d have to brush up on your Harry Potter. Butterbeer is a special, non-alcoholic drink (for humans) mentioned throughout the Harry Potter book/movie series. To enjoy a Starbucks version, tell the barista to add 2 pumps each of caramel syrup, toffee nut syrup, and Cinnamon Dolce syrup to a Tall whole milk steamer, which is then topped with whipped cream and salted caramel bits. Syrup measurements increase to 3 pumps for a Grande and 4 for a Venti.
Also, in order to achieve just the right consistency for this drink recipe, it is highly recommended to opt for whole milk instead of swapping for skim or 2% milk.
12. Grasshopper Frappuccino
If your favorite ice cream flavor is mint chip, or you’re a fan of Grasshopper cookies, order a Mocha Frappuccino blended with java chips and peppermint syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 2 pumps for a Grande, and 3 pumps of a Venti).
13. Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino
To satisfy a cinnamon roll craving without actually eating one, ask your Starbucks barista to add white mocha syrup and Cinnamon Dolce syrup (one pump for a Tall, two for a Grande, and three for a Venti) to a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino, which is then topped with Cinnamon Dolce powder.
14. Zebra Mocha
The combination of a White Chocolate Mocha and a regular mocha is often referred to as a ‘Zebra Mocha.’ This Starbucks drink has many other names, such as a ‘Penguin Mocha,’ ‘Marble Mocha, and ‘ Black and White Mocha’.
15. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappuccino
Ideal for a Valentine’s Day splurge, start with a Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino with added java chips and a topping of mocha drizzle.
16. Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino
Ask a barista to add strawberries and milk to the bottom line with a crème base, vanilla bean powder, white mocha syrup, and Cinnamon Dolce syrup to make a Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino. The exact recipe for a Tall order is 2 pumps crème base, 1 scoop vanilla bean powder, 2 pumps of white mocha syrup, and 1 pump of Cinnamon Dolce syrup. Increase each measurement by 1 for each larger size.
17. Raspberry Cheesecake Frappuccino
Adding raspberry syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 1 ½ pumps for a Grande, and 2 pumps for a Venti) to a White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino will create a drink with a raspberry cheesecake flavor. To satisfy a sweet tooth, up the syrup amount by ½ a pump for each increase in size.
18. Triple C’s
Aptly named for various reasons, a Triple C’s consists of a Cinnamon Dolce Latte with added caramel syrup and chocolate mocha syrup – ( ½ pump each for a Tall, 1 pump for a Grande, and 1 ½ pumps for a Venti). However, as with every Starbucks Secret Menu Drink, being able to direct your barista on what goes into making the drink will most likely save you both a lot of time, energy, and frustration.
19. Marble Mocha Macchiato
Ask your barista to add White Mocha to the bottom of a cup (with no whip), and a shot of espresso on the top with mocha drizzle, to create this marbled drink.
20. Cookies & Cream Frappuccino
A White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino blended with java chips and a dash of peppermint syrup creates a cookies-and-cream effect.
A similar drink for cookie lovers to consider is the Oreo Frappuccino, which blends a Double Chocolate Chip Frappucino with white mocha sauce (instead of regular mocha). The drink is then topped with chocolate whipped cream. To achieve a drink with more of a crème than chocolate cookie flavor, ask a barista to blend a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with java chips, which is then topped with mocha syrup or cookie crumbles (or both).
21. Cookie Dough Frappuccino
To enjoy a guilt-free cookie dough indulgence, start with a Chai Creme Frappuccino with soy milk and 2 pumps of Cinnamon Dolce syrup for a Tall drink (2 ½ pumps for a Grande and three for a Venti). Blend the ingredients with java chips and whipped cream. Add a chocolate whipped cream topping and a drizzle of mocha syrup.
22. Red Velvet Frappuccino
Also called a ‘Red Tuxedo,’ order a half White Mocha and half regular Mocha Frappuccino blended with raspberry syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 2 pumps for a Grande, and 3 pumps for a Venti). The drink is then topped with whipped cream.
23. S’mores Frappuccino
Starbucks can recreate a campfire favorite when you order a Grande Java Chip Frappuccino (or double chocolate chip if preferred) with 1 pump of Cinnamon Dolce syrup, 1 pump of Toffee Nut syrup, and whipped cream blended in. The drink is then topped with whipped cream, and Cinnamon Dolce sprinkles.
24. Nutella-Inspired Specialty Drinks
There are two primary ways to satisfy a Nutella craving when ordering from the “Starbucks Secret Menu.” The first is called The Nutella, which is a Café Misto with added mocha syrup and hazelnut syrup, and a few drops of caramel drizzle. The measurements for both syrup flavors are 1/2 pump for a Tall, 1 pump for a Grande, and 1 ½ pumps for a Venti.
Another related drink to consider is the Grande Nutella Frappuccino, which is made with a regular Coffee Frappuccino with 2 pumps of mocha syrup, 1 pump hazelnut syrup, and whipped cream blended in. The drink is then topped with whipped cream. A caramel drizzle is optional.
25. Ferrero Rocher Frappuccino
To enjoy a beverage that delivers the crispy, nutty, creamy and chocolaty decadence of Ferrero Rocher candy, ask your barista to craft a Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino (or Java Chip Frappuccino) with added mocha syrup (2 pumps for a Tall, 3 pumps for a Grande, and 3 ½ pumps for a Venti) and hazelnut syrup (1 pump for a Tall, 1 ½ for a Grande, 2 for a Venti). Add a hazelnut drizzle and top with whipped cream. To enhance the nuttiness of the drink, add nutmeg powder. For an extra chocolate-flavored rush, add mocha drizzle.
26. The Coldbuster
Also referred to as “The Medicine Ball,” your barista can brew a tea creation geared towards fighting the sore throats and sinus flare-ups associated with the cold and flu season. With the recent change to Teavana Tea being served in Starbucks, an updated recipe includes a Venti Cup filled with one bag of Peach Tranquility and one bag of Jade Citrus Mint tea. Add half hot water and half steamed lemonade to the cup, and a bit of honey for its anti-microbial and healing effects. Some choose to request a pump of peppermint to cap off the drink.
It is also recommended to sip the Coldbuster while it is as hot as you can take it without burning yourself, in order to reap the most soothing benefits.
27. The Dirty Hippy
A Dirty Chai Tea Latte is a chai tea latte with an added shot of espresso, and when it is made with soy milk instead of regular milk, it is commonly known as a Dirty Hippy.
28. Mojito Refresher
While holding the lime wheels until after blending the beverage, start with a Cool Lime Refresher, and add 1 pump of classic syrup for a Tall (1 ½ pumps for a Grande and two for a Venti), and ½ pump of peppermint syrup for a Tall (1 pump for a Grande and 1 ½ pumps for a Venti). Add ice and blend ingredients to create the non-alcoholic version of this popular island drink.
29. Purple Rain Refresher
Ask your barista to add Cool Lime Refresher to the first line of a cup, followed by water or lemonade to the second line. Blend the ingredients, and slowly add raspberry syrup (3 pumps for a Tall, 4 pumps for a Grande, and 6 pumps for a Venti) to the drink, which is then topped with a lime.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Secret Menu at Starbucks?
The Starbucks secret menu is not an official Starbucks drinks menu, but are custom hot or cold drinks that customers can ask a Starbucks barista to make for them if they give them the recipe.
Who Created the Secret Menu?
According to previous Starbucks employee Dan Jones, the Starbucks secret menu was created by Starbucks employees who loved inventing new drinks. These Starbuck baristas wanted a way for other baristas to invent and create new drinks to share with customers.
How to Order
Find the recipe that you would like to drink
Show the recipe to your Starbucks barista
The barista will try make the drink if they have stock of the ingredients
According to Joy Sinclair, there is no official training of Starbucks baristas on any ‘secret menu’ drinks so they don’t know what the drink are.
Which means you might get an odd look when trying to order a secret menu item by name.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee you’ll get the Neapolitan Frappuccino, Biscotti Frappuccino, or “the Nutella” of your dreams when ordering by name.
Although plenty of baristas are quite capable of recommending inventive ways to enhance a particular drink, there is no real standardization when it comes to what some perceive as ‘secret’ customized drink recipes – with options that taste like your favorite candy bar, dessert, or even a childhood cereal.
Instead, the best way to enjoy something from the “Starbucks Secret Menu” is to know which ingredients (and how much) goes into making the specialty concoctions you’d like to order.
Extra Secret Menu Recipes
You can view hundreds more secret menu recipe ideas and names via an app or this fan website listed below:
Secret Menu for Starbucks! app by Sepia Software LLC | Android or iPhone
Although not a specialty drink, the following requests have been associated with the Starbucks Secret Menu simply because they are not as heavily marketed as other standard options:
The “Short” Drink
Choose a smaller, less expensive option to having your Starbucks coffee served by ordering a ‘Short’ drink, which some baristas will tell you is not a secret, but instead, a size not widely advertised at the chain.
The largest size available at Starbucks in the United States is the Trenta, which is only available for iced drinks, and provides 31 ounces of beverage. Ordering this larger size will cost you roughly $0.50 more than a Venti.
A Green Eye
Adding an extra shot of espresso to a regular drip coffee is nothing new, but for the ultimate rush, order a Green Eye (sometimes referred to as a Blue Eye), which includes three shots of espresso. A Red Eye equals one extra shot, while the Black Eye has two.
“Super Cream” Frappuccino
If you’re a fan of whipped cream, ask for a ‘Super Cream’ Frappe, and half a cup of whipped cream is blended in your drink.
If you ask, Starbucks will brew any of the coffee sold in their establishment in a French Press.
The chances of your barista knowing what an “affogato-style” Frappe means is greater than with any of the other requests mentioned here, which means a shot of hot espresso is added to the top of your beverage (instead of it being blended in).
Know What You’re Ordering before Making a Request
It is important to remember that the above-mentioned names for ‘secret’ Starbucks drinks are not universal, and certain concoctions could be called several different things, especially from one city to the next.
Want to make life easier for both of you?
Ditch the creative names, and memorize the ingredients and ratios for specific sizes so that you can tell a barista exactly how to make a Starbucks Secret Menu drink.
One of the number-one complaints a Starbucks barista has about people coming in with ‘secret menu’ requests is that most have no clue about what they are ordering.
Additionally, even if a barista is familiar with a reference to a ‘secret’ drink, keep in mind that one barista’s understanding of what goes into something like an Oreo Cookie Frappuccino may differ from the next.
For more complicated recipes, write your request on a slip of paper to save both the barista and yourself the time and energy of going back and forth in a fog of miscommunication.
Also, expect to pay a little extra when ordering the ‘secret’ drinks at Starbucks. Don’t be surprised when a barista charges you for every syrup, sauce, and powder used to make one of the specialty beverages mentioned above.
To help save some money for your Starbuck secret menu drink expense, make sure to come in with a Starbuck’s portable mug that you bought with Starbucks Coupons to help reduce the price of your drink.
Tired of the typical (rather dull) lemon and butter grilled salmon dish? We’ve got great news: these 4 zesty, fresh grilled salmon recipes will make you fall for fish all over gain. But wait, it gets better: we’ll show you how salmon is packed with health enhancers … from mood boosting brain benefits and wrinkle-free skin to cancer prevention and heart health!
Salmon meals don’t have to be predictable. Bring this classic fish staple to life with surprising tastes of brown sugar & soy sauce, lemon & dill, ginger, and more!
Before we get into the mouth-watering details, we’d like to share why salmon is one of the healthiest foods out there, as well as which type of salmon to choose to avoid contamination.
Health Benefits of Salmon
Just one 4 oz serving of salmon contains:
2 grams of omega- 3 fatty acids (see below for the mind-blowing benefits of omega-3s)
A full day’s worth of the optimal Vitamin D dosage for adults
Over half of the necessary daily intake of B12, niacin, and selenium
High levels of B6 and magnesium
Salmon has an unusually high concentration of the omega- 3 fatty acid, DHA. Many researchers consider DHA to be the most important fat in the human brain! This incredibly potent boost of DHA makes salmon the #1 healthiest fish in the sea and a powerful addition to your diet.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Health Benefits:
The health boosting benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are so extensive, we should really write a full article on the topic! We know you’re eager for those tasty grilled salmon recipes, so we’ll do our best to give a short and snappy overview.
Adding omega-3s to your diet, via fish or supplements, significantly improves brain function, nourishes hair, skin, and nails, keeps your heart healthy, protects your eyes, prevents cancer, and soothes the symptoms of PMS in women. Whew! With such outrageously positive health claims, it almost seems too good to be true. We’ve got news for you: it’s the real deal, and it’s an essential component to attain your happiest, healthiest self.
1. Brain = Improved memory in Alzheimer’s patients, mood regulation for bipolar disorder, recovery from depression, lower levels of aggression, and improved learning and focus for children with ADHD.
2. Beauty = Nourishes hair follicles and dry scalp for shiny, flake-free locks, reduces acne, and prevents wrinkles.
3. Heart, Eye, and Women’s Health = Decreases the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart arrhythmia, macular eye degeneration, and dry eye. Reduces pain of PMS and menstruating.
4. Cancer Prevention = Helps prevent onset of colorectal cancer, prostrate cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Why it’s SO Important to Buy Wild Caught Salmon
Farmed vs. Wild Caught Salmon
Farmed fish are not only fed artificial, unhealthy diets, but are also much less potent in omega- 3s. Here are the super-important reasons you should choose wild caught salmon over farmed salmon:
According to nutrition expert, Dr. Mercola:
Farmed salmon are fed grain products, such as corn and soy (most of which are genetically modified), artificial coloring and chicken meal. This diet is extremely unnatural for fish, and so makes them sick (whenever you eat something sick, you are harming your own body!).
Due to overcrowding, farmed fish are exposed to more diseases (and so, are given more drugs).
Farmed salmon have low levels of omega-3s while wild caught salmon’s levels are very high.
For Mercola’s full article on farmed vs. wild salmon, click here.
Choose wisely when selecting the type of wild salmon, too!
The absolute cleanest, purest type of wild salmon is wild Alaskan salmon. When tested for contaminant consumption risk, wild Alaskan salmon was found to be in the lowest risk category for wild caught salmon.
4 Deliciously Easy Grilled Salmon Recipes
So, now you’re totally hooked on the astonishing health perks of salmon and armed with the details on choosing the wild caught variety. Let’s get you those scrumptious grilled salmon recipes!
1. Soy Sauce & Brown Sugar Marinated Grilled Salmon
This recipe is both salty and sweet.
Use 1/3 cup each of the following ingredients:
To add flavor:
Directions (makes 1 ½ pounds of fish): 1) Dust your fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder and salt on both sides. 2) Stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil in a small bowl. 3) Pour your soy sauce and sugar mixture you created into a shaking bag. 4) Put your fish in the bag with the sauce ingredients. 5) Refrigerate your marinated fish for at least two hours. 6) Preheat grill and oil the cooking grate. 7) Place salmon on the warm grill and cook for 6-8 minutes on each side.
Tip: When done, the fish should easily flake with a fork. Be careful not to overcook it.
2. Dill and Lemon Grilled Salmon
A surprising twist on the classic lemon and butter salmon dish, this recipe adds dill for a refreshing burst of flavor.
Good- to- Know Cooking Tip: You can use salmon steaks instead of fillets to avoid them falling apart when cooked. If not, be sure to avoid a mess by cooking grilled salmon in foil or on a seafood cooking rack.
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest,
2 teaspoons dried dill
2 cloves of garlic, minced.
Directions: 1) Preheat your grill. Combine the lemon juice, zest, oil, dill and garlic in a large shaking bag. 2) Add salmon into the bag and mix it around while rubbing the fish. 3) Refrigerate to marinate for two hours. 4) Make sure all salmon fillets or steaks are thoroughly covered with the rub.5) Wondering how long to grill salmon? When you place the salmon on a hot grill, you need to cook it about 4-5 minutes on either side.
Tip: You can tell your fish is done when it easily flakes with a fork and is light in color.
3. Brown Sugar & Mustard Glazed Grilled Salmon Steak
The brown sugar coating of this grilled salmon steak recipe makes it seriously sweet, while the mustard adds a pop of tangy tastiness.
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
4 tablespoons hot mustard or Dijon mustard
Directions: 1) Fire up your grill until your coals are red-hot. 2) Wisk together the brown sugar, hot mustard and soy sauce in a medium bowl. 3) Transfer 1 tablespoon of the first three ingredients into a second smaller bowl. 4) Then, add the rice vinegar to it and set it aside. 5) Brush one side of the steaks with half the glaze in the medium bowl. 6) Place the fish slabs glaze down onto the grill. 7) Cook until slightly charred, approximately 4 minutes. 8) Brush the unglazed side the same way you did the first side. 9) Turn fish steaks over and cook for 5 minutes longer than you did on the first side. 10) Once salmon is slightly opaque in the center, remove it from grill. 11) Remove the cooked fish from heat and place on plates. 12) Spread the remaining glaze over each steak and let them stand for a few minutes.
4. Ginger Grilled Salmon Fillets
The hint of ginger in this grilled salmon dish creates a touch of zesty spice.
Note: It’s highly recommended that you use a grill basket to prepare this dish. Otherwise, cook it in a broiler.
1 teaspoon each of garlic powder and ginger
1/3 cup each cup of soy sauce and orange juice
¼ cup honey
1 green chopped onion
Use this on approximately 1 ½ salmon fillets
If you like, grease your grill with olive oil
Directions: 1) Mix together the ginger, garlic power, soy sauce, orange juice and honey. 2) Place the onions in a separate bowl and chill until you need them. 3) Cook the salmon on the grill for 10 minutes on each side after you coat the grate with olive oil. 4) Periodically brush the pieces of meat with the ginger sauce you prepared. 5) Remove the fish from the grill when done. 6) Sprinkle chopped green onion over the top.
Remember, practice green grilling!
Yes, you’re doing a huge favor to your health by eating salmon, but grilling food creates some sneaky health hazards. Read our Top 4 Tips for Green Grilling to find out how to make grilling healthy (and eco-friendly … we need to keep the environment healthy, too!).
We hope you enjoy these delightful grilled salmon dishes and the perks of those omega-3 fatty acids: hello, sharp brain, shiny hair, and healthy heart!
A task reserved for only those flawlessly organized and pulled-together?
If so, you better prepare yourself for this – wait for it – canning is so easy and even (dare we say it?) downright fun.
Everything tastes sweeter when it’s had the chance to ripen under the summer sun. While true, it’s less than pleasant to find yourself up to your ears in zucchini, peppers, and cucumbers.
A flourishing garden may provide a welcome bounty of food, but sometimes we just can’t eat it fast enough! Don’t let those fresh flavors go to waste: home canning is a wonderful way to preserve your favorite summer veggies.
Benefits of Home Canning vs Buying Commercially Canned Foods
Store-bought canned goods are often loaded with preservatives. DIY canning ensures you enjoy the most nutritious produce all year long.
Another downside to buying canned food in stores? They are expensive!
For a frugal Summer, stock up on jars and jars of homemade canned vegetables at a fraction of the price.
Supplies Needed to Get Started Canning
You will need:
A pressure canner with canning rack
Quart or pint canning jars
Enough vegetables to fill your jars
A jar lifter for retrieving hot jars
A pressure canning recipe for your vegetable of choice
Table or canning salt (optional)
A canning funnel (optional)
How to Can Vegetables at Home
1. Clean your pressure canner with a quick swipe of vinegar and inspect it
Pay special attention to the pressure gauge. If it has been dropped, cracked, or submerged in water, it might not be accurate.
Your local agricultural extension office can test it for you.
2. Wash and inspect jars, lids, and rings
Unlike with water bath canning, you don’t have to sterilize your jars before you pressure can.
Fill your jars with hot water to keep them warm and set them aside.
Filling a cold jar with hot canning material can cause jars to shatter.
3. Add water and rack to your pressure canner
This step varies based on the canner. Follow your own canner’s directions.
4. Put canner on stovetop over low heat to get water started while you fill jars
5. Prepare your vegetables according to your recipe
Most pressure canners come with recipes, but you can also find instructions online or in books on canning available at Amazon.
6. Empty the warm water from your jars and fill them with vegetables
Always allow at least one-inch of “head space,” the empty space between the top of your canning materials and the jar opening, to allow for expansion.
Use a non-metallic spatula to eliminate air bubbles and wipe the jar edges clean.
7. Put lids on your jars
Make sure the sealing compound, which is usually an orange, slightly tacky ring around the inner edge of your lids, is facing down.
Then screw on the lid rings.
8. Place your jars in the canner on the rack
Make sure your canner’s lid vent pipe is open before closing up your pressure canner.
9. Process your jars according to the canner’s instructions
Be mindful of adjustments needed for high altitudes.
10. When processing is complete: move canner away from hot burner
Wait for pressure to drop.
This can take an hour or more.
Afterward, open the pressure regulator and vent.
Allow your canner to cool another 10 minutes before opening it carefully.
11. Use jar lifter to remove jars from canner
Place them away from drafts to cool.
Make sure not to tilt them.
This can take up to 12 hours.
When they have cooled completely, check the jar seal.
The tops of your lids should be sucked downward and not click when pressed.
Any unsealed jars should be stored in the fridge and eaten immediately.
12. Label your jars and enjoy
Canned foods will stay tasty for a year or two and remain safe even longer. Always check your seals before eating.
You might be familiar with traditional water bath canning.
While it is great for fruits, it’s no good for veggies.
High-acid foods will kill most bacteria, but vegetables are low-acid foods.
To can low-acid foods safely, you’ll need a pressure canner:
Pressure canners heat food to 240-degrees Fahrenheit, destroying bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
They’re easy to use, but be sure to read their instructions and safety information.
A Note About Salt
Salt isn’t necessary for safe home canning, though it will preserve your food’s fresh flavor.
Table salt will work fine, but canning salt keeps your food’s color bright.
With home canning, you can hang onto those feel-good summer vibes all year long.
This winter, you may not be basking in the sun, but you sure will be soaking up summertime veggie sweetness. For more inspiration, you can check out these canning recipes at Whole Foods.