Have you ever had an over abundance of fruits or vegetables, especially during the summer months and not known what the heck to do with them all? Canning is a great way to preserve vegetables, fruits, and other foods. With the summer quickly approaching, I thought it would be convenient to post about canning and give y’all some confidence when the curiosity spark comes and you finally decide to start canning. I’m sure many of you love the idea but may have a fear of canning. Many people think canning is difficult; but nothing could be further from the truth. Canning is fun, easy, practical; it just takes some time, planning, and effort! What better recipe to start with than the infamous Salsa? Salsa is convenient, great to bring to parties, delicious, and a pretty guilt free snack. Trust me, whomever you share this homemade canned salsa with will beg you for more and probably love you forever…
Supplies You’ll Need to Can
- Large pot to boil in
- Canning jars; I use Ball Mason Jars (any size or color you desire)
- Extra Canning lids if your going to can more often and be reusing the jars/screw caps
- Tongs and a Ladle
- Dry Towel
- Something to can!
That’s pretty much it for now!
Prepping for the Canning Process
- Fill the large pot about 3/4 of the way with water, and bring to a simmer. Submerge the canning jars in the simmering water at least 10 minutes before putting the contents into the cans.
- Place the screw caps and round lids in warm soapy water.
- Place a dry towel next to the pot of contents; this will be where you put your hot canning jars on so you can ladle in the contents and not make a huge mess on the counter
Making the Salsa
Makes about 7-10, 16 oz jars of salsa
- Tomatoes; you have three options here.
- All Canned- 3 cans of the 1 lb 12 oz sized: Try to get the finely diced lower sodium tomatoes.
- All Fresh- about 25 medium sized tomatoes.
- You can obtain these in the summer when they seem to be very plentiful.
- Or something I do during the winter months is go to the grocery store early in the week, when they mark down a ton of produce because of imperfections. You can find bags of fresh even organic tomatoes for very cheap! I’ve even gotten bags of limes, jalapenos, mangoes, and other foods this way; its so cheap if you’re planning to just can the stuff! I usually find Stop & Shop does this but you’ll have to check with your local grocer.
- Some Fresh some Canned- 15 medium sized tomatoes and one 1 lb 12 oz can sized canned tomatoes (diced and lower sodium)
- One red onion two yellow onions
- One jalapeno; this will make a mild salsa, add more or less depending on your preference.
- Three cloves garlic
- Half bunch fresh cilantro
- Juice from three limes
- Tablespoon of vinegar; I use apple cider vinegar but white vinegar will work too.
- One teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- About 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; this can vary
- About one tablespoon dried cumin; this can vary
- About 1/2 teaspoon salt; this can vary
- About two tablespoons sugar; this can vary
Additions which I recommend:
- Three 16 oz cans of drained and rinsed Black Beans
- Two ripe Mangoes
- Two 16 oz. cans of drained and rinsed Organic Corn
Method of Prep: Salsa
- If you haven’t already started your pot of simmering water with the canning jars submerged in it, you’ll want to get this going ASAP. Also get your lids soaking in warm soapy water.
- Prep all your fresh ingredients; washing, trimming the ends, etc.
- I use a food processor in order to get a nice smooth salsa (if you like a more chunky salsa don’t process it until its completely smooth); if you do not have one of these you could use a blender. Or you could spend hours chopping and dicing, but I do not recommended this craziness!
- You may have to split up the food processing a few times especially if you have all fresh tomatoes.
- Process the fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, (and mango if your adding that) until smooth and put into a large pot.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot as well.
- I specified above that the seasonings may have to be tweaked according to personal preference, the freshness and flavor of ingredients, etc; basically what I do is keep a bag of organic corn chips nearby and keep tasting the fresh salsa until it tastes banging!
- Once your salsa tastes perfect you’ll need to heat up the salsa. Turn on medium heat, and wait until the salsa starts to bubble but just a bit, you don’t want to fully boil this stuff; just heat it up to a light simmer!
Method of Prep: Actually Canning!
- Now by this time your pot of water should be simmering and your canning jars should be submerged in the water. This sterilizes the jars and gets them ready for canning. Be sure the jars have been in the simmering water for at least 10 minutes and they have been fully submerged.
- Take your lids out of the soapy water and dry them off fully on the dry towel.
- Be sure your dry towel is next to the pot containing the salsa so the process goes completely from left to right or right to left depending on how your stove/counter space is set up.
- Take a pair of tongs and carefully grab one of the glass canning jars from the boiling pot. I like to grab inside of the jar and then tip the jar making sure to empty out all the water.
- Place the jar on the dry towel, hole side up.
- Grab your ladle and carefully ladle the salsa into the jar, leaving about a 1/2 inch head space. If some spills on the side don’t worry you can just wipe it off.
- Take a paper towel and be sure to wipe the edges of the jar where you will be putting the cap and sealing it. You want this rim to be completely clean/dry in order for proper sealing.
- Now, put a dry circle cap on the top of the can and then screw on the screw rim tightly; but you don’t need to tighten it until you break a sweat!
- Congratulations you’ve canned your first can of salsa! Bravo. Take a deep breath and repeat the canning process until you have nothing left!
- As the cans cool, you will hear the infamous “pop”. This is an exciting moment for every caner because this means your jar has successfully sealed and is ready for storage or eating (usually in my case)!
- If you weren’t around to hear the glorious “pop” you can check to see if your cans have sealed by pressing the top. If the top has no give and does not move up and down when poked, your can is successfully sealed.
Other tips on Canning
You can can pretty much anything using this method. There are other methods by adding the contents at room temperature sealing the cans and then boiling the filled cans for 5-10 minutes. If you want to get into canning, do some research and find your own favorite things to preserve! Ball has great information about canning, because lets face it they have the canning thing down pat! I hope this has sparked your interest to start making some easy, delicious, and rewarding canned goods. Get creative and decorate your cans and give them as gifts. People love homemade stuff! Or you could just keep it all to yourself, which you may be tempted to do after trying this banging salsa. Have fun!