How to Can Hot Pepper Jelly

Hot Pepper Jelly (recipe and canning instructions)

I’ll admit it… I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to super-hot peppers. Because of that, I’ve never made hot pepper jelly, but this recipe from Jessica at Simply Healthy Home has me intrigued. Thanks for sharing your wisdom today Jessica!

A few years ago, I planted a garden in hopes of having plenty of vegetables to eat and possibly preserve. We grew, peas, green beans, tomatoes, beets and peppers. Everything was doing well….especially my hot peppers.

Those little plants turned from tiny sprouts to almost monstrous sized trees….well, maybe not QUITE that big but they were HUGE. Not only were they healthy, they produced bushels of peppers.

At first it was really exciting, then it was, “What am I going to do with all of these peppers?” I did everything I could possibly think of….we pickled them, we dried and powdered them, we grilled them, we stuffed them, we made hot sauce for the freezer, we tried fermented hot sauce, we diced and froze them in baggies, we even tried to give them away (did you know most people aren’t fond of hot peppers??).

Hot Pepper Jelly (recipe and canning instructions)

I literally had baskets of peppers.

In a last-ditch effort, I decided to try my hand at a recipe for hot pepper jelly. It was a total success! Not only was it tasty to add to dishes or to serve with cheese and crackers, people like hot pepper jelly so it made great gifts! My pepper dilemma was solved!

This recipe is fairly easy, even for someone who hasn’t done a lot of canning. My recipe is inspired from the Pomona’s Pectin recipe to be the heat level that works for my family, so feel free to adjust to your taste buds.

A few things you’ll need:

  • Pomana’s Pectin (I like this version because it requires less sugar than the typical pectin– here’s where to buy it  (affiliate link)
  • Canning jars (Half pints are a great size, but pints will work in a pinch)
  • Lids and rings
  • A water bath canner
  • Tongs to get the jars out of the canning bath when finished
  • Wide mouth funnel
  • Large spoon and ladle
  • Large pot
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board


  • 1 cup jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers
  • 1 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of evaporated cane juice crystals (regular sugar works as
  • 1 1/2 tsp.
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Naturally-Sweetened Homemade Marshmallows

how to make marshmallows

Don’t make this recipe…

Unless you have superb self-control,


You are really good at hiding things from yourself…

I’ve always had a thing for homemade marshmallows so I could hardly wait to make a batch to christen the new fire ring that we put in last week.

The problem?

Life got in the way after I made them, so it was several days before we had our first fire. And the number of homemade marshmallows sitting on my counter mysteriously dwindled by then…

Of course I have NO idea how that happened. A-hem.

homemade marshmallow recipe

Most people are shocked when they find out you can indeed make marshmallows at home. They are many marshmallow recipes floating around calling for loads of white sugar, but I much prefer this simple, maple-sweetened version. Homemade marshmallows are light-years ahead of the store-bought kind in both flavor and texture. Try them and you’ll never go back!

homemade marshmallows

Maple-Sweetened Marshmallow Recipe

You Will Need:

  • 3 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (where to buy it) affiliate link
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (how to make vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup real maple syrup (where to buy it) affiliate link
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter (optional–it just improves the texture)
  • Arrowroot powder OR cornstarch OR powdered sugar (for dusting)
  • A stand mixer or hand mixer


maple marshmallow recipe

Generously grease an 8×8 pan (I used coconut oil) and dust it with arrowroot powder (or other dusting option of your choice).


In the bowl of your stand mixer (or regular mixing bowl if you are using a hand mixer), mix the water, vanilla extract, and cream of tartar. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the maple syrup and salt until it reaches 240 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature and stir frequently to prevent it from boiling over.… [Continue Reading]

Get Pickin’! How to Make the Most of a U-Pick Harvest

upick farm tips
A big welcome to Renee from Raising Generation Nourished to the blog today! She ‘s writing about a topic that honestly, makes me a bit green with envy… I grew up around U-Pick farms and absolutely love them. Unfortunately, they are pretty much non-existent where we currently live, so I did drool a bit at Renee’s buckets of blueberries! ;)
Years ago when I first made the switch to eating more whole foods, I wanted to “do it all.” I am definitely one of those jump in with both feet kind of a person.

I would walk into a health food store and walk out completely broke. After a few months of this my husband and I decided there was going to have to be a different approach to this whole foods thing. Four bucks for a little quart of organic berries to put in my oatmeal was not cutting it!

We slowly learned how to stretch our dollar here, make our pennies buy more there. I figured out how to use a slow cooker for whole chickens so I could make bone broth and then stretch the meat in soups and stir fries. I learned that not everything that says “organic” on the box means that it is healthy for you.

And the biggest thing I have learned in making my dollar stretch is taking advantage of in season produce. The first time I went blueberry picking, it was on a whim just because I happened to see a sign for it on the road one day. I almost fell over when I saw that the price to pick was $1.50 per pound and I had just bought a little pint of blueberries in the store that week for almost triple that!

Tending To Your U-Pick Harvest :: Simple tips to find U-Picks in your area, how to keep your haul fresh long, & how to preserve the rest!
I dove into a search on how I could take advantage of local U-Pick farms and how to store them so I wouldn’t have to pay top dollar for summer fruit in the middle of winter.… [Continue Reading]

Naturally Sweetened Limemade (or Lemonade!)

naturally sweetened limemade recipe

I tend to think of the summer has being split into two portions:

The first half is the everyone-is-excited-to-be-out-of-school-and-going-on-vacation time.  People are feeling liberated and eager-with-anticipation to be breaking out the shorts and flip-flops. The grass is soft and green, the heat is gentle, and it feels absolutely magical to be outside after a long winter.

And then there’s the sticky-hot-dreaming-of-snow end of summer where the days are blazing hot, everyone is sticky and sweaty, and the flies persistently dive-bomb your plates (and your face). The grass is brown and crunchy, and you even catch yourself dreaming of those snowy afternoons where you can cuddle up in front of the fire and take a cozy nap…

Yeah, I think it’s safe to say we’ve hit the second stage here at The Prairie Homestead. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not wishing away summer quite yet, but I will admit that I’ve fantasized about crisp Fall mornings once or twice here lately…

homemade limemade

Which is why this week was the perfect time to whip up a batch of this naturally sweetened limeade. I’ve had a bunch of limes in my fridge begging to be put to use for a while, so I figured a pitcher of homemade limemade would be the perfect treat to combat the end-of-summer stickiness.

Most limemade recipes call for cups of white sugar, but I prefer the simplicity of this honey-sweetened limemade. It’s refreshingly tart but still has a sweet depth of flavor from the raw honey.

homemade limemade recipe

Honey Sweetened Limeade Recipe

  • 1 cup lime juice (I used 9-10 small limes–or you can use lemons instead!)
  • 1/2 cup honey (raw is the best!)
  • 5 cups cold water
  • Lime slices — to garnish (optional)

honey limemade recipe

If you are using fresh limes, be sure to wash them well so any dirt/residue doesn’t end up in your juice.… [Continue Reading]