It is our first day of canning week! Y’all, I am so excited because I have been wanting to learn to can forever but I was always just too intimidated. That is, until, the wonderful people at Ace Hardware store were kind enough to hook me up with a Ball Fresh Preserving Kit to figure this whole thing out! I figured if someone contacts me and offers to provide me with everything I need to get started, it’s a sign I couldn’t ignore. Being that I am a native of San Diego, I figured it was necessary that one of the first things I made and canned would be fresh pico de gallo! I can use my summer fresh tomatoes and preserve the flavors to enjoy later in the year!
Here is what you need to get started, the Ball Fresh Preserving complete kit, pretty amazing, right?!
In addition to that I used to make 6 jars of pico de gallo:
- Ball Quilted Crystal 8 oz Jelly Jars
- 5 medium sized tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- 2 limes
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (or more if you are spicy)
Before you get started, you want to put the large pot filled 2/3 the way with water, on the stove to come to a boil. You will also want to put a smaller pot on the stove as well and bring that to a boil. The pico is so easy to put together, first I chopped all my tomatoes and added them to a bowl.
I added the juice from two limes for flavor.
Then I added the onion and cilantro, both diced small.
Lastly, I added all my seasonings and spices and gave it a good stir.
After a quick taste test you can make any adjustments you think you need in seasonings, when it is ready then you can start filling your jars! I sanitize my jars by washing them with hot water, but you can also run them through the sanitize cycle on your dishwasher. After filling, I left a half inch headspace in my jars and then wiped all the rims down with a paper towel to ensure a good seal.
Next I reduced the smaller pot of water to a simmer and added the lids for about 5 minutes. Once they were done I used the magnetic lid grabber to pick the lids out of the water and transfer them to my jars. I followed that up with the rings and made sure they were just fingertip tight on the jar.
These get added to the canning rack and then lowered into the waterbath and the water should cover by an inch or two. They stayed in the waterbath for 30 minutes and then I turned the heat off and left them there for another 5.
At this point I removed them with the jar grabber and placed them on a cooling rack on top of a dish towel on the counter to cool completely. That’s it!
It may be a few steps but all of them are easy and without much more effort than simply making the recipe you can enjoy it all year round! Check out the Ace website for more great tips on canning and let me know your favorites in the comments below.
Are you inspired to get started yourself? Well, we want to help!
Comment below telling me what you would love to can and you could win a $150 Ace gift! Yes, it is that easy! I will choose a winner on Monday, August 22nd, 2016!