Canning Salsa {The Good, The Bad & The Ugly}

Now, you're probably wondering what I mean by "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly".

Well, let me tell you....
Canning Salsa
I'm going to start with "The Ugly"...
Chopped veggies for salsa
I know that those veggies look beautiful, but it was an u-g-l-y mess chopping up all of that! Plus it took forever!

You know, I've been excited about canning salsa since last year, when I planted my first salsa garden. But unfortunately last's year was a bust.
The tomatoes were awful, so no salsa...

This year is a completely different story! Awesome garden, lots of tomatoes and jalapeños! I did make some yummy fresh salsa, here's the post! 

Fresh Homemade Salsa
Anyway, so I've been pretty anxious to can some salsa. Yet, when I went to look at recipes they were all adding vinegar. Well, I'm not a big fan of vinegary salsa...  So, I looked for recipes without. Little did I know about the "hazards" of canning salsa without vinegar or lemon juice. It can cause botulism and all other sorts of "problems".
Okay... Now, I'm a bit freaked out... 

So, I'm googling like crazy trying to find out more about this and what kind of recipe to use. 

As you can see, "The Bad" part is starting....

I found this site and it explains all the ins and outs of canning salsa. Here's the link to it. It's by Pacific Northwest Extension. It's a PDF.

Click on the jalapeños and it will take you there.
Anyway, I used the recipe for slicing tomatoes. I also let my tomatoes sit in a colander overnight so that most of the juice would drain. That really helped the salsa to be thicker.

So, this is the recipe I used.

Tomato/Tomato Paste Salsa

3 quarts peeled, cored, chopped slicing tomatoes 3 cups chopped onions

6 jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely chopped
4 long green chiles, seeded, chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 12-ounce cans tomato paste
2 cups bottled lemon or lime juice 1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin*
2 tablespoons oregano leaves*
1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot into pint jars, leaving 1⁄2 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water canner 15 minutes at 0–1,000 feet altitude; 20 minutes at 1,001–6,000 feet; or 25 minutes above 6,000 feet.
Yield: 7–9 pints 
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I cooked it just like the recipe called for. I scooped some out to taste. Here's  "The Bad"...

It had NO flavor, NO Spice, NO little kick in the back of the throat, NO nothing!
Cooking Salsa

Ugh! I felt like I was tasting tomato soup! Not that I don't like tomato soup... I just want some super good salsa!

So, I started adding more spices. That is the only thing they say you can adjust in the recipe. I dumped in chili powder, doubled the cumin, I added 2 handfuls of cilantro,  all to no avail. 

It still didn't taste all that great... But I was already this far, so I just went with it and started the canning process.
Cooking Salsa
I think that the actual canning is the easiest part of all!

Hot jars are in the dishwasher, take one out, pour the slop in til there is a half inch head space, wipe the rim, add the lid and screw the lid down and put in the canner. Done!

I got 9 jars out of the recipe. So, what am I going to do with 9 jars of salsa that I don't really even like?

Well, Hubs and I had a few suggestions. Open a jar and add tons of stuff to it, or buy a jar of really hot salsa and mix them.

Seeing how much work I already put in, I'm probably going with the more "lazy" option. I'm actually fed up with salsa this year. 

Yep, I'm pretty much done. I don't mind canning jalapeños, that is sooooo easy!! Did you catch my post on that? Check it out!

Canning Jalapenos 
"The Good" is the fact I have 9 jars of salsa for all that work. It should last me a few months. :)

Next year, maybe just one tomato plant and a couple of jalapeños. I think I'll just stick to fresh salsa.

So, what do you think?  
Have you every canned salsa?

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