Friday, April 17, 2015

Canning Poke!

Last year I made Fried Poke for the first time myself.  I had it as a child at my grandmother's table but had never tried making it myself.  It was fantastic.  I could see why people went through the trouble of cooking this dubious plant.  If not cooked correctly, it has a rather cleaning effect of your digestion system.  While a little cleaning is nice, too much is well, too much. 

Poke can often be found growing in last year's stalks.
Poke has a long history with pioneers and saved many from starvation as it is one of the earliest vegetables to grow in the spring.  It also had medicinal qualities and is being researched for its cancer fighting effects.  I have found numerous references to its ability to fight rheumatism and arthritis.  There was once a small town doctor who said that if his customers ate a mess of Poke in the spring, he would treat them for free the rest of the year since Poke was, in his opinion, a preventative measure of illness.  One half cup of Poke will provide 35 calories, no cholesterol, dietary fiber 3g, and 90% of Vitamin A, 60% of Vitamin C, 8% calcium and 6% iron based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Needless to say, it is now on my list of things I like to eat.  After enjoying it last year, I wanted a way to preserve some for the rest of the year.  So much like other greens, I canned it.  Really the only difference in canning Poke in comparison to other leafy greens is that you need to boil the Poke twice before canning. Be sure and pick a lot of it as it shrinks down.  See my previous post on choosing the best Poke to pick.  Spring is the best time to pick it as it is small and tender.

Canning Poke


large bunch of Poke Greens (think enough to fill a small laundry basket at least)
pint size jars
2 large pots


Fill two large pots with water and set to boil.

Wash Poke greens thoroughly.  Remove stalks and chop into one inch strips.  Once all chopped, put into first boiling pot.  Boil for seven minutes.  Using a spoon with straining holes, move greens to second boiling pot.  Once all moved, boil for five minutes.  Strain greens and rinse with hot water.

Prepare jars.  Because they will be going into a pressure canner, they need to be clean but do not need to be sterilized.  Add greens to jars.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar.  Add hot water to 1 inch head space.  Using a knife along the inside of the jar, remove any air bubbles.  Add additional water if necessary.

Wipe rim of jars with a paper towel dampened with water and vinegar.  Add lids and rings.  Pressure can for 45 minutes at 10 lbs pressure.

To prepare greens, fry bacon and onion, and then drain liquid from jar and add.

What should you do with the leftover stalks?  Here is an old time recipe for those as well!

Pickled Poke Stalks


tender Poke stalks
2 cups vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 t salt
2 sticks cinnamon
several whole cloves


Boil Poke stalks to remove skin.  Pack into jars.

Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, cinnamon and cloves.  Bring to a boil.  Pour over stalks.

Seal with lids.  Water bath 15 minutes.


  1. where can i buy poke salad greens cell phone 2137038635

  2. where can i buy poke salad greens cell phone 2137038635

  3. Never seen were you can buy it . It grows wild

    1. About 40 years ago, a Texas company sold it in cans. I guess there wasn't enough interest to keep it going, too bad...

  4. Griffens use to can it but no longer does

  5. What do u do with the stalks after u do the canning above.How do u use it.