Canning Series: Zesty Salsa

I returned home from vacation to find our garden full of ripe tomatoes.   My neighbor, Ginny made another trip out to Peggy's garden in Yellow Springs on Saturday and brought home some really beautiful tomatoes.  So on the agenda today was to start processing all those tomatoes and making one of our all time favorites -- salsa.  We love salsa and incorporate it into our diet regularly. Salsa is really an amazing food.  It is super low in calories and is packed full of all kinds of healthy benefits.    Salsa is high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.   It's a good source of iron, as well as magnesium and potassium to help maintain normal blood pressure.  Tomatoes are rich in lycopenes.  These carotenoids are being studied for their role in preventing various types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer and heart disease prevention.  Chili peppers are another ingredient packed with health benefits.  The active ingredient in chili peppers known as capsaicin has been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory effects which may be helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis. It's also has anti-cancer, anti-ulcer, and anti-bacterial properties. Plus, the capsaicin in chili peppers also has a slight thermogenic effect which could play a role in treating obesity.

Making salsa at home is rewarding yet time consuming.   However, there are a few kitchen gadgets that help speed up the process.   If you do not have a food processor,  I highly recommend adding one in you kitchen.   I have a small OSTER 12-SPEED BLENDER WITH FOOD PROCESSOR.   I have been using this small food processor for a number of years and for most tasks it is perfect.  However, I am canning more and more large quantities and am going to invest in a larger food processor.  Ginny has a KitchenAid KFP750OB 700-Watt 12-Cup Food Processor, Onyx Black. I have borrowed it many times, but now I am ready to buy my own. I love Kitchen Aid products and am planning on adding this food processor in the near future.

Zesty Salsa -- Makes 7 Pints Ingredients:

  • 10 Cups, Chopped, Seeded, Peeled, and Cored Organic Tomatoes
  • 5 Cups Chopped and Seeded Organic Green Peppers
  • 5 Cups Chopped Organic Onions
  • 2 1/2 Cups Chopped and Seeded Organic Jalapeno Peppers (Tip:   Wear latex gloves while processing peppers.)
  • 5 Cloves Organic Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Organic Cilantro
  • 3 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups Cider Vinegar
  • >Love

Start with fresh organic tomatoes.  I love red, yellow, and stripped tomatoes.

I drop them into hot water, not boiling, for a few minutes.  When the skin just begins to crack, remove from hot water and let cool.

Remove skins, core, and seeds over a Mirro Canning Food Press with Wooden Pestle”".  Save tomato juice for canning or freezing.  I usually get enough juice from this process to can 4 or 5 pints of juice.

Chop onions, garlic, peppers, and cilantro.

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepot.  Add love.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Ladle hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

Clean rim with damp soft cloth.

Adjust two-piece caps.

Place hot jars into water bath canner.

Process in water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Remove jars from water bath canner and place on cardboard or a towel for 12 to 24 hours to cool.

When the snow is flying around and you are preparing for your next Super Bowl party remember to grab a jar or two of your very own salsa and share it with your friends and loved ones.  Go Bengals!

City Girl