Kirk mentioned to me he’d love some hand crafted salsa, and I was going to go crazy and make it from 100% scratch.
Until I looked over a jar of Fiesta Salsa mix from Ball. The ingredient list was actually OK. Nothing odd, nor artificial.
INGREDIENTS: DEHYDRATED GREEN BELL PEPPER, SALT, DEHYDRATED ONION, DEHYDRATED GARLIC, SPICES, SUGAR, SUNFLOWER OIL, JALAPEÑO PEPPER POWDER.
And as I pondered it, I realized that I’d need to buy a bunch more veggies and be committed to making a huge batch (7 pints!) with the recipe I was going to make. So I gambled, and tried out the mix. I altered the salsa by swapping in fresh raspberries for some of the tomatoes, plus fresh cilantro. The results? A salsa I couldn’t keep the 4 year old out of! He ate half a jar in a sitting! Neither spicy nor bland, yes, it is perfect in taste. Honestly, I couldn’t have done much better on my own. And it got me in the kitchen and back out quickly. Now I have 4 jars awaiting winter!
Small batch canning is great. Easy to make, without a huge commitment of time, produce or worse, a food you don’t like in the end.
- 3½ pounds fresh tomatoes, finely diced, 8 cups measured
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, well cleaned & dried, finely chopped
- 6 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
- ½ cup Fiesta Salsa Mix (shake well before measuring)
Wash canning jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and keep covered.
Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil, then let simmer.
Add all ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes.
Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Ladle the hot salsa into the bars, using a sterilized canning funnel. Leave a ½” headspace.
Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.
Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process for 35 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.
Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.
As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!) If you are using a different brand of salsa mix, be sure to read their directions and to follow them.
Made about 9 cups, which I canned into 4 pint jars and one 8-ounce jar.