Bananas are one of my favorite fruits to enjoy and I love how versatile bananas can be when cooking with them or baking with them. When it comes to their nutritional information they are high in potassium, vitamin C and they are a great source of dietary fiber.

When Bananas are on sale at our local food market I like to purchase them in bulk and make some homemade banana butter and jam. The following two recipes are really easy to prepare and taste delicious. You will need some basic canning supplies, mason jars and a water bath canner to make them. Once they are made, label your mason jars with the name of the contents, the expiration date and store them in a cool, dry and dark place. When properly processed…they should keep for up to 1 year.

Tips: You want to measure out your ingredients carefully and in the exact amounts given in the recipes. When cooking the mixture, follow the time guideline exactly as stated to ensure that your products set up properly. Every water bath canner has different processing times so please follow the times recommended in your instruction booklet.

Banana Butter Recipe
3 cups of ripe bananas
1/4 cup fresh or bottled lemon juice
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, finely chopped into small pieces
6 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 (6 ounce) bottle of liquid pectin

In a large mixing bowl, mash down the bananas with a fork or a potato masher. When you have 3 firmly packed cups of fruit pour it into a large saucepan or stock pot. Stir in the lemon juice, finely chopped cherry pieces and the granulated sugar. Bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil the fruit mixture for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Stir in the liquid pectin. Ladle mixture into clean sterilized mason jars. Seal and process your jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes or according to your canner’s instructions for canning jam.

Banana Jam Recipe
5 ripe bananas
3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt

In a large mixing bowl, mash down the bananas with a fork or potato masher. Pour the fruit into a large saucepan or stock pot. Stir in the fresh lime juice, orange juice, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Bring mixture up to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring often and then reduce heat to low. Simmer the fruit mixture over the low heat for 25 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Ladle the mixture into clean and sterilized mason jars. Process the jars in your water bath canner for 7 minutes or according to your canner’s instructions.

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys cooking, baking and canning. Shelly is the owner of the popular foodie blog called Shakin ‘N Bakin in the Kitchen at http://wahmshelly.blogspot.com where you can find free canning recipes, cooking articles and tips.