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Make sure you take the right steps to avoid a salsa disaster

Statewide Iowa — As tomatoes start to ripen in gardens, salsa is one of the favorite things Iowans like to make with them.

An Iowa State University Extension food specialist, Renee Sweers says if you want to save some salsa for later canning, that is an option. But she says there are a lot of variables that include the variety, tomato, the weather, the soil, and whether that tomato actually has a high enough acid content.

Sweers says you should use lemon juice, or powdered citric acid you are purchasing with your canning supplies to add to the salsa to be sure the acidic mix is right.  And she says to use a recipe that is one that you trust.

Sweers says without taking these steps you could end up wasting the effort. If you don’t want to get that detailed, you can just make a batch and enjoy.

A third option is to freeze the salsa.

Storage can be an issue if you want to make a big batch.

And the taste of the frozen salsa will be different than the canned option, and she says you may have to drain some water off when you thaw it out.