Blended Salsa for Canning

I love salsa, and while the jars at the store are convenient, most just are not that great tasting. Plus, when I read the ingredients I don’t know why many are even used. Now salsa is not difficult to make and a blended salsa lends itself to canning, so why not make a large batch?

Blended Salsa

2 quarts Blended Tomatoes
2 cups Diced Onions
6 Jalapeños (see notes)
1 cup Vinegar (apple cider gives a different twang)
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1 Tb Cayenne Pepper
1 Tb Canning Salt
1 Tb Cumin
2 Tb. Garlic Powder

Let’s talk tomatoes. Everyone has their preference as to which type they prefer. Me, I go for free every time. That is how I was able to land all the ones I used for this batch, while most are Roma’s, there were beefsteak as well. Roma’s are nice because they tend to have fewer seeds and less juice than a beefsteak.

Fresh Roma tomatoes

Being lazy isn’t always a bad thing, (don’t tell my kids I said that) and if I can skip a step and have the same results, I will. When making a blended salsa, I don’t think leaving the skins on makes a bit of difference so I forego any blanching and peeling the tomatoes. I cut the tomatoes in half and just squeeze them over a bowl. This gets rid of 80% of the juice and seeds and is faster than any other way. The tomatoes get slightly mangled, but we are blending them after all, so it doesn’t make a bit of difference. There are a few ways to blend the tomatoes, with a countertop blender, a food processor or a hand blender. Whichever way you prefer, just give those tomatoes a whirl until they are the size pieces you prefer.

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Heat is a relative thing and while , something may be hot for me, it may be mild for you. In the recipe above I suggested 6 large jalapeños. I highly suggest starting with 3 and then taste your salsa to see if you would like more. I also leave the seeds in, which adds even more heat.

If you do not have a food processor, wear gloves when chopping peppers.
If you do not have a food processor, wear gloves when chopping peppers.

In a large pot combine all the ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Now is a good time to taste it because heat bring out the flavors and oils in your ingredients. Add more of whatever you think it needs. While most home canning recipes do not call for salt, I add it to this recipe because I think it really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes in the end product. I don’t think 2 Tablespoons is very much for 10 points of salsa.

Tomatoes are one of those items that can be waterbathed, but only if prepared correctly. Because the acidity level of modern tomatoes can be low and unpredictable, acid must always be added when waterbathing. This can be done with citric acid, lemon juice or vinegar. Because we added the cider vinegar and lime juice to the recipe, we have increased the acidity enough to water bath the jars. If you opt to leave those ingredients out, you really should pressure can your jars.

Julia is working hard to seal my jars.
Julia is working hard to seal my jars.

I want to be very very clear in something, I canned in quarts but quarts have never been officially reccamended for salsa. I do it because canning tomatoes have been and the salsa is very similar. If you don’t feel comfortable with this this ONLY fill pint sized jars and process for 15 minutes in a water bath.

Normally I would put these into pint jars, but I am out of them so I used quarts instead. This batch makes 5 quarts or 10 pints of salsa. Pour hot salsa into your jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Using a wet towel, wipe the rims to remove any food. Top with your hot lids and screw the bands on. Place jars into a pot of simmering water and when the water reaches a rolling boil, process for 15 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes. Remove to a towel on the counter and allow to cool for 24 hours before touching those bands. Aren’t they a thing of beauty?

Be sure to label your jars as mild, medium or hot if doing a variety of batches.
Be sure to label your jars as mild, medium or hot if doing a variety of batches.

Now to go find me some chips…….

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