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Salsa is a flavorful and colorful addition to many meals, as well as great way to preserve some of your garden-fresh goodness. But following proper canning steps now is essential to savoring the best salsa later. Virtually any salsa, including those with corn and black beans, can be frozen. Recipes that include cooked tomatoes and chiles, rather then those with uncooked, typically freeze better.
- Freezer-safe canning jars with rings and lids
- Jar grabber
- Large pot
- Large spoons and ladles
- Jar funnel
- Water bath canner (a huge pot to sanitize the jars after filling)
Sanitize the jars using a dishwasher -- some have a sanitize setting. You can also use a couple of large pots. Simply set the jars in a pot of water with a teaspoon of bleach for every two cups of water and let them sit for about five minutes, then dunk them in cold water to rinse. Finally, place the jars in a large pot of hot water for several minutes.
Fill the jars with salsa using the funnel, leaving about 1/4-inch of space at the top. Run a wooden utensil through the salsa to remove any air bubbles. Tighten the lid and ring around the jar to completely seal the salsa. You can use store-bought or homemade salsa. However, salsa with cooked ingredients -- particularly those that emit liquid, like tomatoes and chiles -- yields the best results.
Place the jars in the canner with at least one or two inches of water on top of them. Keep the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 to 25 minutes. Bath time is relative to elevation; see U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations for specifics.
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool in a draft-free space overnight where they won't be bumped to allow the salsa to settle and prevent air bubbles. The rings can then be removed. Test the jars to be sure they're fully sealed; if the lid pops up, they're not.
Place the jars in the freezer.
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