Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to Make and Can your own Salsa (Without a canner!)

My husband and I grow our own tomatoes, and have for years now. We always get an abundance of tomatoes (thank you Miracle-Gro top soil!); and as much as I try we cannot eat them as fast as they come in. That is why I decided to make my own salsa with our tomatoes. I am not going to lie when I stood in the grocery aisle and looked at all of the canning stuff, including what I have already read online I had this feeling that this was definitely one of those scenarios where I bit off more than I could chew (pun intended). And honestly it was a lot of work. I wouldn't sit here and act like it wasn't. I spent literally an entire day making salsa but I would definitely say it was worth it. Word to the wise here people: If you are going to go through the work make a LOT of salsa. It's not worth it to make a couple of jars. I made 8 with this recipe and now that I know it is good salsa I wish I would have made more. (I definitely wasn't going to be giving out crappy salsa if you know what I mean!). I am not exactly sure how long the shelf life is but I do know it won't make it long enough to go bad.

How to Make and Can your own Salsa (Without a canner!)

9lbs large tomatoes
2 chili peppers (canned)
2 jalapeno peppers
2 ½ Tbsp. fresh cilantro
2 green peppers
2 medium yellow onions
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. garlic juice (I used the juice from a can of minced garlic I had)
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. white distilled vinegar
½ container 6.7 oz. Ball salsa seasoning (I know Ball calls for more than this but it seemed like an extreme amount to me so I used half and I think it turned out great!).
Blanch tomatoes; then peel
Cut tomatoes width wise and deseed
Chop tomatoes into ¼ inch cubes
Chop chili peppers, jalapenos (with seeds), onion, green peppers, and cilantro
Press garlic cloves
Add all to a large bowl
Add lime juice, lemon juice, garlic juice, and vinegar
Mix with a large spoon
Try; and add more of any of the above to fit taste preference
(I prefer my salsa thinner but if you prefer a chunkier salsa then skip this step)
Place salsa in a blender and pulse 5-10 seconds to get a thinner texture
Place salsa in a large pot and add Ball seasoning
Simmer 10 minutes
(If you don’t want to can your salsa then you do not need to read any further. Just let the salsa cool for at least 12 hours and then enjoy!)

Meanwhile for canning..

(I don’t have a canner and the idea of me placing jars into boiling water freaked my husband out so this is how I “side-stepped” the boiling part of the process.)
 Add all jars, lids, and seals into the dishwasher on a hot cycle (sanitary, etc.), with a heated dry. Try to time the cycle of the dishwasher to the simmering of the salsa. The goal is to add hot salsa to hot jars.
Once you are almost ready to add the salsa to the jars prepare the “hot bath”. (I used my dish washing tub and added hot water).

Once the salsa has simmered and your jars are done in the dishwasher get them ready to add the salsa.

Use a handheld strainer to add the salsa to the jars leaving a ¼ inch gap at the top.

 (The jars will be hot so make sure to be careful transporting them. I used a canning jar lifter, or you could use tongs. )

 Immediately after adding salsa to the jars wipe the rim, put the lid on and place in the “hot bath” for 15 minutes, with 1-2 inches of water over the top of the jars.

Take out of the hot bath after the 15 minutes and place on a towel and let sit for 24 hours.

If everything goes well you will hear the jars “ting” as they seal.

Just in case you are wondering the salt and lemon juice serve as preservatives for canning.

(Makes 8 pint sized jars)

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