A couple of weeks ago, I picked the last of a large crop of tomatoes from the garden plot of a neighbor. She was overwhelmed with the massive amount of “fruit of the vine” her garden had produced and asked me to take as much as I wanted before the hard freeze. I was happy to oblige and proceeded to experiment with making homemade freezer salsa. It turned out so well I wanted to share the recipe with you! This is a great how-to for those who are beginners at making and freezing food.
Homemade Freezer Salsa Ingredients
- 5 lbs tomatoes (about 3 or 4 medium-size tomatoes is a pound)
- 2 c. onions
- 1 c. green pepper
- 1/4 c. jalapeno pepper
- 3 tsp. canning salt
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp. of your favorite dry hot sauce mix (I use Mexican Village, a local brand)
- 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
Assembling the Salsa Ingredients
Gather all your ingredients. For maximum efficiency, use two large cutting boards and find two sharp knives with which to cut the separate ingredients. Grab a couple of “garbage bowls” that you can use to dispose of your tomato and onion peelings as well as the stems of the veggies. This keeps you from making so many trips to the garbage can! Fill a pot with hot water and set it to boil on the stove. This will be used to blanch the tomatoes and remove their peelings. Wash your produce well to remove dirt and then remove the stems and ends from the vegetables.
Chopping Your Onions and Peppers
Onions: Remove the peelings and rinse the onions before you dice them. A food processor or hand-held food chopper is great for chopping onions, but you can certainly do it the old-fashioned way with a knife.
Green peppers: Slice your bell peppers and remove the seeds. Chop them according to your preferred size.
Jalapeno peppers: It’s a good idea to wear kitchen gloves when cutting jalapenos, as they are very hot and can make your skin burn. The amount of jalapeno seeds you keep for your salsa will depend on how hot you want it to taste. You can always add more later but adding hot sauce mix will most likely give your salsa plenty of bite!
Combining Ingredients and Cooking the Salsa
After blanching and peeling your tomatoes, empty the water from your large pot and put the tomatoes in the pot. Next, crush your tomatoes either by squishing them with your hands or using a pastry cutter. I found this to be a very effective (and less messy) method for making my tomatoes the proper consistency. Mix your diced ingredients into the tomatoes. Add the vinegar, salt, hot sauce mix and 1/8 cup of sugar if you desire a sweeter salsa.
Bring your salsa to a boil then keep it at a consistent simmer for 35 minutes. For a thicker salsa, and especially if you have really juicy tomatoes, simmer 5 or 10 minutes longer.
After the mixture cools completely, divide it among quart freezer bags or freezer containers and keep frozen for up to a year. If you use bags, try flattening and freezing them separately before stacking them together. This allows for your salsa to take up less space in the freezer and will also keep the bags from sticking to each other.
Don’t forget to sample some after it cools! I’m certain you will enjoy the fruits of your labor. This recipe is easy to make and is perfect for a beginner such as I was this year. So grab some chips and your loved ones and enjoy your fresh homemade salsa!