|Spicy Zucchini Salsa|
If you have never canned before I highly recommend salsas and pickled items until you get a rhythm down on the process. The reason for this is
1.) the idea of canning is way worse than it actually is and
2.) anything that has a high acid content IE: tomatoes or items that are pickled with vinegar (high acid) can be achieved by using a water bath canner instead of a pressure canner.
3.) These type of items are quick to assemble, they have a long shelf life, everyone enjoys getting a jar as a gift and it costs you very little, but can save you a LOT of money not buying them in the store.... then there is the whole "preservatives" issue that they put into manufactured food.
I know I KNOW it seems like a lot of instructions below, but it really is not that hard! I just give a lot of detail hoping to encourage you to try it and give step by step instructions for any newbies. Once you have done this a few times you will learn the process and it will cut down your time assembling everything. All said and done it takes me about an hour from start to finish and that includes me cleaning up my kitchen while I am waiting on the cooking (15 minutes) and then the canning (15 minutes). I will warn you though canning food is v e r y A D D I C T I V E!
OK I have warned you, now lets get started.
Out of my garden I picked for the salsa:
2 large Zucchini - I grow them large so it would be about 4 store bought size :)
5 Med onions
3 Ripe tomatoes
2 Green tomatoes
2 fresh hot peppers
2 Tbs pickling salt
4 Tbs dry mustard
2 Tbs garlic powder
2 Tbs cumin
2 Cups brown sugar
3 Tbs red pepper flakes
1 Tbs cinnamon
4 cups white vinegar
12 oz Tomato paste
2 Tbs Corn Starch
Water Bath Canner
8 Pint Jars & Lids
Large mouth funnel
1 Large bowl for holding the shredded vegetables
1 Large Dutch oven or Sauce Pan for making the brine and heating the vegetables.
Clean and peel your zucchini and cut the ends / clean the rest of your veggies. In your food processor, using your shredder blade process all of the vegetables. You will need to dump the shredded veg's at least a couple of times into your large bowl. Once all have been shredded take about a 1/4 cup of canning salt sprinkle over the shredded zucchini, mix well and let stand for about 15 minutes.
While the veg's are soaking........ get your jars and lids sterilized. I put mine in my dishwasher on the rinse cycle with the plate warmer on. While that is running....
Take your large Sauce pan and mix all of the ingredients together for your pickling brine. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Drain the vegetables from the water that has drained from them and then rinse well & drain again. Once the pickling brine is hot mix in all the vegetables mixing well into the solution. Let the salsa continue to cook over medium heat, barely boiling for 15 minutes.
While the salsa is cooking fill up your water bath canner about 1/2 full depending on the size of canner you have. Make sure to use HOT WATER. Mine is Huge and holds about 18 pints double stacked or 8 quarts. You want enough water in there to fully cover the pint jars with the lids being about 1" under the water once all the full jars are in there.
Turn your burner on high and let the water come to a boil.
After cooking your salsa for 15 Minutes, turn off the heat and place on your filling station area. I use my kitchen table and place a towel over it. I put my large sauce pan in the middle with the hot clean jars placed around it as well as the lids / bands and funnel - everything in easy reach.
Fill up each jar using a large ladle and your funnel leaving a 1" head space for the salsa to expand as it cooks. Take your stirring stick or a wooden spoon handle and stir around your salsa making sure to remove any air bubbles that may be in there.
After filling the jars take a clean cloth and wipe carefully along the top of the jar making sure to remove any spillage from that top area. You want it to be super clean so the lid seals completely.
Place the lids on each jar and the band - only tightening with your fingers - do not use your whole hand to tighten the band down. If you tighten it to much you leave no place for any air to escape and the jar could explode. Using only your fingers you will not get it to tight :))
Place your jars in the water bath canner and allow it to return to a boil. Make sure that the water is covering the lids by at least an inch, if not add more hot water now. Once it starts to boil then start your timer for 15 minutes.
Once your timer goes off - turn the burner off and carefully remove the jars onto a dry cloth on your counter, away from any drafts, leaving room between each jar so it can cool. Within a few minutes you will start hearing a popping sound as the jars seal and cool off. That is the sound of SUCCESS! Leave the jars alone as they are cooling, as tempting as it may be to pick them up and admire them! Make labels with the date and then store in a dry cool pantry. Check each jar to make sure that the lids have sealed by pressing in the middle of the lid. If it moves put the jar in the refrigerator and use first. Remove the bands you can reuse them on your next batch.
Happy Canning! Remember this is fun and gives you a great way to enjoy your fresh vegetables year round!
#Canning #HomePreserves #SpicySalsa #GardeninaJar #SustainableLiving #FrugalKitchens #FreeGroceries
I would love to hear what you think! Do you have any favorite canning recipes?