Want to Make Salsa?

July 30, 2012 | Peggy Martin

Want to Make Salsa?

salsaThis morning I got an email from my sister:

“Want to make salsa with the big tomatoes from the garden?  How about Friday night?”

I found a great publication called Preserving Food: Sensational Salsas on the University of Georgia website. It not only has several tomato salsas, but also directions on how to can Mango Salsa, Peach Apple Salsa, and Spicy Cranberry Salsa.

It is true that we have lots of gorgeous tomatoes and, with all the sun and heat, they are ripening faster than usual.  We need to do something with them in addition to eating our fill and giving them away.

Canning, freezing, and making salsa are the best alternatives I can think of.

Here is my chart of pros and cons:

Freezing tomatoes Fastest, no special equipment needed, can do in small batches. Heats up the kitchen when you blanch them, but not as much as the other methods. Freezing breaks down the cell walls so they are best used in soups and stews.  Uses up space in my refrigerator/freezer.
Canning tomatoes Good flavor and texture compared to frozen; stores on the shelf. Requires a water bath or pressure canner, and new lids (we already have canning jars or we would have to buy them also).Heats up the kitchen.
Salsa Makes a nice little gift if it turns out.Uses peppers and onions from the garden. Stores on the shelf. Requires processing in a hot water bath. Takes time to chop up the vegetables. Heats up the kitchen.

I am not sure what we will do with the tomatoes, but I am following the directions from a university.  I do not want to take the chance on wasting my time and energy with spoiled food.  If canning or freezing are your choice here is a link to Iowa State’s food preservation resources.

Peggy Martin

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