04 Oct 5 TIPS FOR CANNING THE PERFECT SALSA
Enjoy the taste of fresh local produce from your garden or farmer’s market all year long by canning your own salsa.
1. Ingredients matter. Choose fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes with no soft spots or blemishes. Meaty tomatoes like Roma and Paste have less water content and seeds, and are perfect for canned salsa. Try different combinations of tomatoes to find your favorite flavor profile. The best tasting tomatoes make the best tasting salsa!
2. Use a recipe meant for canning. Recipes that are tested and approved for canning will ensure your salsa is shelf stable. It’s important to keep the right balance of acid ingredients (tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice) and low acid ingredients (garlic, peppers, onions). Taste test smaller batches of different recipes to find one you like.
3. Turn up the heat… or not. To adjust the heat level in your salsa, use different types of peppers. The total amount of peppers must stay the same, but add more or less spicy peppers or mild peppers to find the perfect combination. (Be sure to wear gloves when handling hot peppers.)
4. Follow the directions. Pay exact attention to canning directions and processing times. The USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning is a helpful resource for canning-related questions.
5. Take a siesta, you’re ready for a fiesta! Open your pantry often and admire your hard work. Now for the tough part, making the salsa last until next season’s tomato harvest.
About the Author:
Angela Judd is an avid home vegetable, flower and fruit tree gardener. She is a certified Master Gardener and regular contributor to Master Gardener publications. A mother of five children, she enjoys growing food for her family. Angela shares pictures, tips and gardening advice on Instagram and on Facebook.