In the lazy days of summer, we are all looking for an easy and healthy alternative to a fast food snack. With farmer’s markets in full swing, what a better way to provide your family with fresh, organic, and local vegetables to your health needs. On a recent trip to visit my family in WV, I came across one of the best treats I have had in a long time, homemade salsa from the garden.
I have longed for an inexpensive and healthy alternative to common salty snacks. From a financial stand point, the cost of making salsa is zero. The only cost you will incur is canning supplies which will run you approximately $25, a stock pot which is about $18 and $6 for canning jars and supplies. What I would normally spend on snacks for a family of six easily surmounts $100 per month, more when school is in session.
Can you spare 90 minutes to increase your health? If the answer is yes, then I will provide you with the tools to make fresh salsa from the garden.
15 – Medium Roma Tomatoes, diced
6 – Large Jalapenos, diced
2 – Cups Frozen Corn
2 – Tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
2 – Tablespoons Sugar
2 – Limes, juiced
1 – Tablespoon Lime Zest
1 – Tablespoon Coarse Salt
Pepper to Taste
Lime Slices, save for packaging
After mixing all ingredients in a bowl, give it a taste. It should taste a bit green, but this taste will fade during processing and storage. Add lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper as needed.
1 – Stock pot (21 quart)
4 – Mason jars with lids (pint)
Spoon ingredients into each of the pint jars. Press salsa into jars leaving enough space for one lime in the top of each jar with 1/4 inch between the lime and the top of the jar. Fill the jar with cool water and wipe the top with a dry cloth. Place seal and jar and hand tighten seal ring. Repeat for the remaining jars.
After all jars have been filled, place them in the canning stock pot and fill with cold water. A canning rack is used to keep jars off the bottom of the pot. Water should be one inch above jar lids. Heat until boiling and allow boiling for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and leave jars in the pot for 5 additional minutes. Remove jars from water carefully and allow cooling until seals have depressed. If a jar does not seal within one to two hours, take sealing ring off and replace seal. Reprocess jar according to abovementioned directions.
To add a spicy side to your salsa, add one cup of jalapeno peppers diced. Remember to take out the seeds prior to canning. Another variation is to add fresh pineapples. Since pineapples are not indigenous to the United States, they will have to be store bought. Add approximately two cups of crushed pineapples drained of the juice.