I have procured, cleaned and pitted 10 lbs of cherries this year, and I think I need to do another 10 lbs. I know it sounds excessive, but I really like cherries. During my pre-Paleo days, they would be in my oatmeal in the morning, decadent cheesecakes, and pies. Now in shakes, cherry basil iced tea, with roasted duck or pork schnitzel and… Paleo Cherry Salsa. It's so flipping good.
I mentioned before that this was the year I was going to learn to can. I did it. I really did it. I collected some jars, I researched on the internet, and it seems it is far more scientific than I would have thought. PH levels and such. Science. Who knew? People who can: they knew. I read and researched and called my mom, but decided, I was going to jump in. I made drunk cherries first. I figured if they didn't seal I could: a) give them away right away and with the alcohol, they would be good for a while and b) eat said un-sealed cherries to numb the pain of failure.
I found a small canning pot at the second-hand store (another kitchen item…) but seeing as I am a little accident prone, it was worth the $3. I don't have proper tongs, but I made due with some BBQ tools. Raj cringed a little when I explained my process (remember: accident prone. He may have used words like “scalding”, “Napalm-esk”, “glass shrapnel”, and “horribly disfigured” to describe the potential scene). But it worked. I sterilized my jars using the boiling water method, but there are a half dozen other ways to do it, whatever works best for you. The kitchen was tremendously hot, and I, along with numerous kitchen surfaces, was covered in sticky cherry juice and liquor. Every jar sealed. (if the jars do not “pop” or seal the contents in the jar are not preserved, and must be refrigerated, and used right away. Some of the reasons why jars don't seal are mentioned here). Must be beginners luck. I eyed up my fresh cherry salsa and decided to cook and can it as well. I may be addicted to canning. This recipe only cooked into 4 jars of canned product, so you may want to double the batch, next time I'm going to make mine a little spicier as well. I guess I should get the right tongs too. “Horribly disfigured” may not be a good look for me.
Please note, the PH of this canning item has not been tested, and there are no chia seed canning guidelines in the National Centre for home preserving guide. Incorrect PH levels can lead to serious illness, please omit seeds if water bath canning. At least until we can test the PH levels. Sept 2014
Cherry salsa sweet and spicy; delicious Paleo Cherry Salsa
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 3 cups cherries (pitted and chopped) Don't own a pitter?
- 3 small bell peppers (chopped) (assorted colors) (~1 cup)
- 1 medium red onion (diced) (~1 cup)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 small jalapeño -seeded if you don't like it hot (diced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Canned Salsa Add
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 3 tbsp wine (I used white- it's what I had open, but red would work too)
- 2 tbsp white vinegar (or use 5 tbsp sherry or wine vinegar and omit the wine)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 4 half pint jars, lids and rings
- Canning pot, or large pot with a rack inside (glass on pot on element= potential danger)
- Thick towel or wire rack for cooling
- Combine all ingredients, stir well and serve!
- Sterilize jars set aside, I also dip the lids and rings just to be sure all is clean and ready.
- Over medium heat pour the fresh salsa into a pot, add water, and bring to a simmer.
- Continue simmering, add lime juice, wine, vinegar and chia seeds, continue to simmer for 10 min or so, until it thickens a little.
- Spoon mixture into jars leaving about a 4th of an inch space at the top. Pack salsa down, trying to get as much air out as possible, using a spoon or a chopstick (another great use for chopsticks!).
- Place metal lid on and lightly tighten ring, so it holds it on, but still allows air to escape.
- In your large pot or canning pot bring the water to a boil, and keep it boiling, because we are hot packing jars the boil should be fairly consistent.
- Lower jars until they are immersed in water, set your timer and let them boil covered for 15 minutes. If you stop boiling for any reason, re-set your timer, a full 15 min in boiling water.
- Gently pull out of the water and let dry and cool on your rack or thick towel. At this point, you should start to hear the sweet pop of sealing jars.
Full disclosure: I am not a canning expert- really a beginner- so if I could make it work, you can too!