Wednesday, 18 September 2013

How To Make & Can A Delicious Salsa

Have you always wanted to try a home canning project? I used to be that person, but then I realized that the only thing stopping me was me. About 15 years ago I made and canned homemade salsa with my husband and I have never looked back! I have gone on to make not only salsa, but pickles, and beets.

This is an easy and delicious salsa recipe and salsa is an absolutely great first project to try because salsa is so expensive to buy and it's so easy to make at home! And canning season is not over yet...there is still lots of time to gather fresh produce and get busy!

This year my salsa-making was made all the more easier with this home canning kit from Canadian Tire. It came with not only a large canning pot, but all the tools & gadgets to make canning a breeze. I was so happy to receive the canning pot because I did not have a super large pot to use for canning! I wish that I had this kit when I first started canning because it made the whole process a lot easier!  I used the canning pot for both making the salsa, and processing the jars. The canning kit not only comes with a pot, but also a canning rack, canning funnel, jar lifter, magnetic lid wands, pectin, jars and a DVD. Canadian Tire has a complete selection of canning items for all your canning needs, including not only this kit, but jars in various sizes, spices and more!
If you have been scared to try making to salsa because you thought that you had to peel, seed and core a whole bunch of tomatoes...let me tell you that you don't have to do all that. Of course you can if you want to, but you don't need to. You can skip right over that time consuming step and just start chopping! And it can be quick work if you can get the whole family involved with a chopping party...with the reward being fresh salsa at the end of the day.
Here is our recipe for salsa that we have been using for the past 15 years. You can use both fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes...they both work equally as well!

Tomato Salsa
{recipe can be doubled}

8 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes {fresh or canned}
3 large onions, chopped
2 large green peppers chopped
1/2 red pepper chopped
hot pepper to taste
1 clove garlic minced
1 13oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
5 1-litre jars, or 10-500 ml jars, or 20-125 ml jars, with lids and bands
*I usually double this recipe and use 10 1-litre jars.
**I used fresh Roma tomatoes.
***I used two canning pots. One for the salsa and one for processing the jars.

1. In large canning pot, bring everything but tomato paste, parsley and oregano, to a boil, stirring constantly.
2. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook until tomatoes get soft but not mushy.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.For best results, taste salsa with tortilla chips to gauge salt and spice.Turn off heat.
4. Meanwhile, sterilize jars by placing the jars on the rack in the canning pot. Fill jars and pot with cool water that reaches the top of the jars. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil.
5. To prepare the 2 piece closures for the jars, place lids in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat to just a simmer over medium heat, but do not boil. Do not heat screw bands.
6. Remove jars from canning pot and empty hot water back into canner. Place funnel over jars and fill jars with hot salsa one at a time, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Slide the bubble remover from the canning kit into the jars to release air bubbles. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to clean rim of jar. Using the magnetic lid wand, lift jar lids from hot water and center lid on jar. Place screw band on jar and with your fingers, screw band on firmly and evenly. just until resistance is met. Do not over tighten.
7. Fill all jars with salsa and place on canning rack. Lower canning rack into canner with hot water,  making sure the jars are completely covered by at least one inch of  hot water. Cover canner and bring to a rolling hot boil over high heat and process jars for 40 minutes. Turn off heat and remove canner lid. Let jars cool in pot for 5 minutes. Using jar lifter, remove jars lifting straight up.
8. Place jars upright on a clean towel and do not disturb for 24 hours.
9. After 24 hours, check lids for seal. Sealed lids will be concave and will show no movement when pressed on with your finger. Jars that have not sealed properly must be refrigerated right away. Properly sealed jars can be wiped off, labelled and stored in a cool, dry and dark space.
{Always make sure to follow a canning recipe and sterilizing instructions properly.}
And now you will have a delicious salsa ready to serve with tortilla chips, nachos, tacos, fajitas, omelets, meatloaf, baked potatoes and anything else you like!
We love our homemade salsa and make it at least twice per year. It not only tastes great, but can be made at a fraction of the cost of the store-bought kind! And I cannot tell you how much easier this job is with the help of the canning kit from Canadian Tire! This kit is perfect for both beginner and experience canners and is a great investment for canning projects.
Wishing you a delicious day!

{This post was generously sponsored by Canadian Tire. The opinions and images are my own. The Bernadin Canning Kit can be found at Canadian Tire...both in-store and online. For all your canning needs, including jars and pots, please visit Canadian Tire.}

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