This recipe has been in the works for almost a year. I first made this paleo salsa in the fall of last year, but by the time I got my act together and finished posting our tomato soup and tomato ketchup recipes, tomato season was long over. This year, we have had crazy weather, it has been hot and dry; all of our crops are 3 weeks early. This means peaches, usually in prime time for canning, are nearly done; tomatoes, usually just starting, are well into the crop. Those juicy ripe tomatoes make the BEST paleo salsa!
So many tomatoes! I like all sorts of tomatoes but tend to use mostly Roma's for canning. I think because of the uniform size and shape, it really appeals to my orderly side. I buy the tomatoes locally from a fruit stand. They are nearly half the price there than at the local farmers market. I try to be a smart shopper, not only buying local produce, but products with less chemical processing, and for a price that is easier on the bank account. Also buying in bulk, if you have to freezer or pantry space, can drop the price per pound drastically.
Raj was kind enough to help me make a sweet playlist for canning. It's handy because I enjoy kitchen dancing, but when you have an epic mess all over the kitchen (which IS my style) you can't change the music as you go. It is an eclectic mix of stuff my mom used to listen to, (on record, or 8-track!) thru 80's rock ballads, 90's angst rock, 00's club tunes from my bar star days and a few new jams. It's fantastic… for me. You may or may not agree. Let me know if it brought back some memories! Or if you found yourself singing along to a song you didn't know you knew the words to.
“Holley's Canning Jams” Playlist:
*Spotify is a free app which can be listened to on any device and it allows you to stream or even make lists available when not connected to wifi.
I made 30 pints of salsa, and hopefully, that will be enough for the year! It's my go-to gift and last-minute pot-luck party contribution. You can make a couple of omissions and change this preserved salsa into a fresh pico de gallo; I recommend enjoying some like that while the tomatoes are in season. While you have those fresh beautiful (locally grown?) tomatoes try out a tomato salad or a Caprese salad skewer!
Fresh or canned, paleo salsa free from sugar and nasty chemical preservatives. Plus you can brag to friends and family you made it yourself!
- 6 cups tomato diced (and drained if making pico de gallo)
- 3/4 cup cilantro fresh diced
- 1 1/2 cup sweet or bell peppers diced
- 1 cup onion diced (approx 1 medium onion)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup jalapeno or anaheim peppers diced (seeded for less heat)
- 2 tbsp habanero or chili pepper diced (optional for HOT salsa)
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup vinegar (only if cooking for water bath canning)
- Begin by starting Holley's Canning Jams music playlist. Now you're ready!
- Dice all those fantastic veggies. I used a food processor: tomatoes first (drained if making fresh pico de gallo), cilantro, and sweet or bell peppers next, onion and garlic (because I like those chopped a little finer), then the jalapeno or anaheim peppers last, (unless I'm making it spicy, then I add the habanero or chili with the jalapenos).
- Mix all ingredients together, sprinkle with salt and lime juice, and stir well.
- Your fresh salsa is ready to serve! Yum! But if you want to put it in jars and keep it for more than a few days, you need to put all this wonderfulness into a large pot.
- Add vinegar and put on medium heat, bringing salsa to a boil. (You also don't need to drain the diced tomatoes if you are cooking the salsa).
- Simmer on medium heat stirring occasionally while you prepare your jars and lids!
- The number of jars and lids you need will depend on the size of finished product you want. I do some in quarts for my housemate and her 15-year-old son (I swear he drinks salsa when no one is looking) and a few half pints for single serves or taco Tuesdays.
- Sterilize your jars and lids, bring your canning pot to a gentle boil.
- Once your salsa becomes the desired thickness, likely 40 min of simmering, spoon into jars, chasing the air bubbles out.
- With hot salsa, jars and lids, your salsa may seal without being immersed and processed in the water bath.
- Finger tighten lids and immerse in the canning pot. Process for 15 minutes (longer depending on your elevation).
- Pull out and let rest for 24 hours, as the salsa cools you will hear the sweet sound of cans popping; they are now sealed. Any that do not have a concave top after 24 hours refrigerate and eat right away.