Homemade Canned Salsa
Over the last few years, there has been a boom with the love of all things glass jars. People have fallen out of love with plastics, as well as store bought, packaged, and processed foods. Instead, we have opted to go back more to the basics with growing our own foods, canning, and freezing them. Then, of course, there is a whole industry of crafting based on glass jars.
I grew up in the country. My parents were country folks. We always raised a large garden, even when we lived in town. All of our neighbors did. It’s just something we did in the 70s. My daddy’s parents were share croppers. My mama’s parents also raised many acres of crops, so gardening obviously flows through our veins.
In the summers, we spent either the early morning or the late evening in the garden. We were busy planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting all summer long. Even when it wasn’t being done at my mom and dad’s, it was being done at my Great Aunt Agnes’s house. She and Mr. Hoyt planted acres upon acres. We spent a lot of time picking up potatoes and carefully spreading them in one of the sheds to keep them from going bad.
After the outside work was done in the garden, we had plenty of more work to do with the fruits of our labor. There were peas to shell, corn to shuck, potatoes to clean, figs to stem, tomatoes to … well there were lots of things we could do with tomatoes. Most of the time the tomatoes went into jars though.
Until recently, I had never considered canning. It’s something I helped my parents and other family members do when I was young. It wasn’t anything I ever considered doing myself. But I was contacted from Ball’s Can-It-Forward Day and asked me to participate in the 5th annual Can-It-Forward Day, so how could I resist?
My first thought was, “Mmmmmm, Salsa!” Then I began thinking about all of those times when I was a kid and had to help keep count of the canned foods and whether or not the jars had “popped.” This is a sign of the jars sealing shut, just an FYI, in case you aren’t familiar.
Once I received my kit, I was thrilled to learn I only needed to supply water, tomatoes, and a little vinegar to turn my kit and a few other ingredients into my own homemade canned salsa. My kit contained:
- Ball Canning Discovery Kit: The perfect, easy home canning starter set. Equipped with a canning rack, recipe guide and jars, all you need is a recipe and stockpot to begin preserving! ($11.99)
- Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving: The new 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is the most trusted resource in home canning for over 100 years and this new 2015 release is its largest update since the first edition in 1909. Expanding 56% from the previous edition, the 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book includes 75 new recipes, pictorial step by step guides for beginners and more! (Retail value: $11.95)
- Design Series Lids (red): Great not only for home canning, the Ball® Brand Design Series Lids With Bands are also a great option for unique crafting creations, gifts and home décor with endless mixing and matching possibilities. (Retail value: $5.95)
- Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix: Better tasting, fresh salsa is simple to make with Ball Brand Fiesta Salsa Mix. Simply add fresh, vine-ripened or canned tomatoes, and mix with a splash of vinegar for perfect salsa every time. (Retail value: $5.99)
Tune in to the live webcast of canning demonstrations from 11:00am – 4:00pm EST on August 1, featuring an integrated chat function to submit your home canning questions to be answered in real time. New this year, there will also be an exciting celebrity mason jar auction unveiled during the webcast! Missed the live webcast? It’s ok. Click on over and you can watch the replay of the webcast.
Ready to learn how to make your own homemade canned salsa? This is a step-by-step guide showing how I made mine. I hadn’t ever canned anything on my own before, so I was a little reluctant but it turned out great. It took me exactly two hours from beginning to end, but that included extra steps that you may or may not want to follow. Part of my time was also spent taking pictures for this blog post. If you have someone around to help you, the time may go a little faster, too. I figured this wasn’t too bad considering I also have some kind of undiagnosed shoulder injury, too.
After starting to make my salsa, I realized that I was supposed to completely submerge the jars an inch under water. Of course, I didn’t have a pot that deep, and I wasn’t going to run out to buy a pot for a one time project. Besides, my parents never completely submerged anything under water, so I figured I would give it a shot using what I had. My pot was almost as tall as the jars. I poured water in to the bottom of the rings. I used a lid to mash down the handles of the canner and placed the pot lid down as far as it would safely go down. Since my jars weren’t submerged in water, I added five minutes to the processing time. As soon as I turned the burner off and removed the pot lid, there was some magical music to my ears, “Pop! Pop! Pop!”
Needless to say, I went to bed feeling very accomplished that night. Making homemade canned salsa is a breeze!
- 2 lbs fresh tomatoes (about 6 medium) to yield 4½ cups finely diced
- 3 Tbsp white vinegar (5% acidity)
- ¼ cup Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix - SHAKE TO MIX WELL BEFORE MEASURING
- Splash of hot pepper sauce, additional jalapenos, cilantro, etc. may be added
- 2 Ball Pint (16 oz) Fresh Preserving Jars with lids and bands
- Don't have fresh tomatoes? Use 3 cans (14.5 oz each) petite diced tomatoes.
- Use the Ball recipe calculator chart to customize the number of jars from 1-8
- Peel tomatoes, if desired.
- Remove hard core from the end.
- Cut tomatoes in half over a bowl or cutting board with a chamber to catch all of the juices.
- Chop by hand or pulse in food processor until roughly chopped or desired consistency. Mine were pulsed in the Ninja for about 20 seconds.
- COMBINE tomatoes, vinegar, and Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix in large saucepan. I also added a package of frozen cilantro cubes to mine.
- HEAT to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- PREPARE canner, jars, and lids according to manufacturer's instructions. My jars were washed in the dishwasher, then placed in a hot water bath in the canner with the lids and rings. Be careful when removing items from the canner, s the water is boiling hot!
- LADLE hot salsa into jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
- PROCESS in boiling water canner for 35 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Increase processing time: 5 minutes for 1,001 to 3, 000 ft; 10 minutes for 3,001 to 6,000 ft; 15 minutes for 6,001 to 8,000 ft; 20 minutes for 8,001 to 10,000 ft.
- Remove from water and allow to stand for 12 hours.
- Store in pantry for up to one year.