By Penelope Ann from Petroleum, ID
If canned and stored properly, home canned items will last for years. Home canned salsa doesn't have preservatives that store bought has, and you can season it to taste.
Canned salsa as stated if canned properly will last a year or more. One of the benefits is you can make it as spicy (or not) as you like.
I made salsa this summer and just finished my last jar recently. I think that if you can it correctly, it should last for about a year. I wouldn't try to make it last longer than that.
My friend found a bunch of jars of salsa in the boxes which she thought had empty canning jars. It was several years old. It looked and smelled fine but she emptied it all in the trash anyhow. Better safe than sorry.
Here is my friend's salsa recipe that I posted on ThriftyFun. I may make another batch before summer if I can get my hands on a bunch of tomatoes. Yum!
As far as cooking before hand or not, I think the tomatoes have to be cooked a bit to be canned. If you want fresh, you could freeze whole tomatoes and make up a quart or 2 as needed; yes the tomatoes were frozen but would probably make up satisfactorily.
I canned salsa with my sis in law and it was so good, and so nice to have all winter. It didn't last long.
The benefit of canning is: you have it when you need it, and provided you used the tomatoes when perfectly ripe [pick a lot, can as they ripen, ripen on cardboard under a sheet or old blanket] the flavor will be great, and the nutrition at it's peak. As for saving money, probably not much, but if you have canned foods and a large bill, you can buy the minimum groceries and take care of that bill that month.
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