Homemade salsa is healthy and delicious. Whether you want a snack in between meals or something to wow your friends at a potluck dinner, you can’t go wrong with homemade salsa. Friends will ask how to make your homemade salsa. You can make it fresh or bottled. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Salsa is made up of tomatoes, peppers, onions, spices, and something acidic like lemon juice, limejuice, or vinegar. Tomatoes are full of lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and fiber. Peppers are packed with so many vitamins and minerals; they have a history of being used in many natural remedies. Compared to other snack options full of sugar and fat, homemade salsa is a very healthy alternative.
When I needed something different to take to a potluck, I called my sister, who gave me a good recipe for salsa. Everyone loved it! Fresh salsa is so refreshing. Especially in summer, it’s nice to have a dish that isn’t heavy on your stomach after eating it. The salsa recipe my sister shared with me calls for one can drained diced tomatoes, one sweet onion, one Anaheim pepper, one red or yellow bell pepper, one garlic clove, ¼ teaspoon salt, one jalapeno, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ cup cilantro, and lime juice to taste. Chop everything fine and mix them together, then refrigerate for one hour. Serve with corn chips. This recipe is flexible and can be adjusted any way you want. If you like more tomatoes or peppers just add them. For spicy salsa, don’t take the seeds out of the jalapenos. In addition, you can easily substitute lemon juice or vinegar for the lime juice.
Bottled or canned salsa is nice to have in the winter months when fresh ingredients are expensive or hard to find. It’s also nice to have on hand when you don’t have the time or energy to make a fresh batch. Unlike fresh salsa, you have to be very careful to follow the recipe exactly when you make bottled salsa. The reason you bottle is so you can store something for months at a time without it going bad. To keep it from going bad, you have to make sure bacteria can’t grow in it. Bacteria can’t grow in acid, so the ph has to be acidic enough to keep the bacteria from growing. Tomatoes, peppers, and onions aren’t acidic so you need to add lemon juice or vinegar in the right proportions to keep your salsa safe to eat. Approved recipes have been tested and tried to make sure bacteria won’t grow in them.
Last summer, I was able to pick slicing tomatoes for a very good price so I picked enough to make a batch of salsa. Only I had a hard time finding a recipe that used regular slicing tomatoes instead of roma tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are thicker than regular tomatoes and I didn’t want my salsa to be runny. I finally found a recipe and mixed up a batch. However, when I tasted it, it seemed too sour. I found out later, you have to let it sit for a while for the flavors to blend. The next day when I tried it, it was perfect.
To make this recipe, you need 3 quarts chopped tomatoes with skins off, 3 cups chopped onions, 6 jalapeno peppers, 4 Anaheim peppers, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 12 ounce cans of tomato paste, 2 cups bottled lemon juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 bunch cilantro, and 1 tablespoon cumin (optional). Combine the ingredients in a big pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes then process in pint jars for 15 minutes.
Home made salsa can be enjoyed fresh or bottled, either way you can enjoy a healthy and delicious snack that you can be proud of.