Why throw away all that lovely leftover salsa when you can freeze it? We'll show you how to freeze salsa so you get the most from this ever-popular condiment.
Freezing Salsa is a Breeze
Whether you are planning ahead for your next big get-together, or you just want to cut down on excess food waste, freezing salsa properly takes very little effort. Best of all, when done right, your frozen salsa will taste as good after it thaws as it did when you first popped it into the freezer. It can be stored frozen for up to four months and still retain those rich flavors.
There is also a more serious benefit to correct freezing of salsa, namely, avoiding the growth of harmful bacteria. According to a 2010 CDC study, cold storage was described as ‘the key’ to avoiding food poisoning from salsa. This study also found that adding some fresh garlic and lime juice to your salsa ingredients could greatly reduce the risk of salmonella growth.
Handy Tips to Keep in Mind
Don’t freeze chunky salsa. Yes, the chunky vegetable mix is fantastic when eaten fresh, but keep in mind that once frozen, not only will the salsa lose its taste, when defrosted those nice tomato chunks will turn into a watery mushy mess.
To avoid this, all you have to do is puree your salsa mix before freezing. This will seal in the flavor and allow the salsa also to keep a thick consistency once thawed.
Freezing salsa that you bought from the supermarket is also easy to freeze. Remember that you should open the vacuum-sealed jar or can before freezing. Once the pressure seal is released, it will give the salsa some room to expand when frozen and won’t damage or break the container in the process.
How to Freeze Homemade & Store-Bought Salsa
1. Before freezing your salsa, ideally you’ll want to reduce the amount of liquid content in your salsa by cooking it first. To thicken the salsa, let it gently simmer for around 35 to 45 minutes.
2. It is best to let your salsa cool off completely before transferring it to containers and freezing. This usually takes about an hour or so. Allowing the salsa to cool will prevent condensation from forming in the container, which will then turn into ice when frozen.
3. You can label your containers to keep track of how much time your frozen salsa has before it reaches its ‘use by’ date – this is normally four months after first freezing.
4. Reusable mason jars are sturdy and safe containers, but if you use them, be sure to leave 1-inch of space at the top of the container after adding your salsa. This will give the salsa room to expand when it freezes, and won’t break your jars.
How to Defrost and Reuse Salsa
To defrost your salsa, take it out of the freezer and let it sit in the refrigerator until it is completely thawed. Depending on its consistency after thawing, your salsa might still need some excess liquid drained from it.
If used within four months, the salsa should still taste great and will retain its vibrant color. Thawed salsa is best when used in other recipes rather than as a condiment, given its slightly thinner texture.
Salsa is a perfect accompaniment to anything savory, salty, or sweet. It is great with grilled beef, fish, and chicken or as a sauce for grilled or baked vegetables. Salsa can also be a seriously delicious salad dressing and give those fresh leafy greens that extra spicy punch.
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