Homemade Sweet Salsa

Ingredients:
– 15 medium tomatoes
– 1 green bell pepper
– 1 red bell pepper
– 1 jalapeno pepper 
– 5 cups chopped onion (I used 2 sweet onions, but you could use 1 yellow, 1 red onion)
– 5 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 yellow banana peppers (I couldn’t find any, so mine didn’t have this)
– 1/4 cup sugar
-1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
– 1/4 cup lime juice
– 4 tsp. pickling salt
– 1 tsp. pepper
– 1 large can tomato paste (I actually added an additional 6oz. can)
– chili powder (if desired for extra spice)
– 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

I prepped my tomatoes following these steps here. Then I chopped them in the food processor.  Luckily, a co-worker of mine warned me about working with spicy peppers.  Those boogers will burn your skin!  So, either buy some gloves to work with or you can do what I did and just slip a sandwich bag over your hands before cutting the jalapeno pepper.  I just cut the stem and bottom off, and then the inside looks just like a bell pepper.  Just cut out the white seedy portion and toss it in the food processor.

I like my salsa creamy and smooth, not chunky. So all my veggies (peppers, onions, and garlic) were tossed into the food processor then into a stockpot.  Then, to make sure all the spices were mixed in well, I put the tomato paste, pickling salt, pepper and a pinch of chili powder together in the food processor.  I cut the stems off the cilantro, chopped up the leaves, and tossed them into the stockpot.

All that plus the rest of the ingredients went into the stockpot to simmer for approx 45mins-1 hour, stirring often!  BE SURE TO COOK ON LOW!  I thought I would start mine on high and bring it to a boil then turn it down to simmer.  You might can still do this, but make sure you are stirring it to prevent it from burning on the bottom.  I have a nice burnt spot on the bottom of my stockpot :/  So, watch it carefully!

To can, process in a water bath 35 mins for pint jars, 45 mins for quart jars. This batch made approx 5 pint-sized jars.
For canning steps, read here: Canning Tomatoes.  Just follow the basic steps, skipping the tomato specific ones.