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Published on August 02, 2018
The heart of summer brings delicious fruits and vegetables from our gardens, farmers markets and the overflowing produce departments at local grocery stores. Salsa is a popular way to capitalize on these riches.
Salsa entered the English language from the Spanish word meaning “sauce.” We think of salsa as a red sauce made from tomatoes, onions, garlic and chilies. Salsa has become a general term for a sauce served with chips or as a side dish to a grilled meat, chicken or fish. There’s a lot of creativity in today’s salsa recipes.
Trying new salsa recipes can be a fun way to add more fruits and vegetables to our diets. Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet, and variety is as important as quantity. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients we need to be healthy.
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar.
Often jarred salsas are high in sodium. Many of the top name brands have close to 1,000 milligrams of sodium in a half cup. We should have no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium all day. Individuals with high blood pressure, heart failure or kidney disease should limit their sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams per day.
Make your own fresh salsa to cut the sodium and boost your vitamins and minerals. You don’t need to stick to tried and true tomatoes. Lift the fresh flavors of summer to new levels, like eating a little watermelon with a tortilla chip.
Celebrate the heart of summer with a salsa party. Provide some grilled chicken or fish and whole-grain chips and ask your guests to bring a fresh salsa recipe to share. Any of these recipes will be a hit.
4 large tomatoes (homegrown are best)¼ cup onion1 jalapeno pepper (to taste for desired hotness)2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped 2 cloves or 1 teaspoon garlic, minced½ teaspoon ground cumin½ small green pepper¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Dice all vegetables. If you like it hot, leave a few seeds in the jalapeno. Combine in a bowl, sprinkle with cumin and red pepper and mix together.
Nutrition FactsServings: 10; serving size, ½ cup; calories, 35; total fat, 0 gram; saturated fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 0 grams; sodium, 8 milligrams; potassium, 360 milligrams; carbohydrates, 8 grams; fiber, 2 grams; protein, 1.5 grams.
Cantaloupe Salsa4 cups cantaloupe, diced1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (1 large lime)1 teaspoon of lime zest (grated lime rind)1 teaspoon of minced garlic (2 cloves)¼ teaspoon salt1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to mix. Great served with chips, grilled chicken or grilled fish.
Nutrition FactsServings: 10, serving size, ½ cup; calories, 45; total fat, 2 grams; saturated fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 70 milligrams; potassium, 250 milligrams; carbohydrate, 7 grams; fiber, 1 gram; protein, 1 gram.
Peach Salsa1 cup fresh peeled peaches (about 2 peaches), diced¼ cup red onion, chopped1 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped1 tablespoon fresh lime juicePlace all diced and chopped ingredients in a bowl. Add lime juice and stir. Enjoy with whole-grain chips, grilled chicken or grilled fish.
Nutrition FactsServings: 3; serving size, 1/3 cup; calories, 30; total fat, 0 grams; saturated fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 3 grams; potassium, 270 milligrams; carbohydrates, 7 grams; fiber, 1 gram; protein, 1 gram.
Watermelon Salsa4 cups seedless watermelon, cubed1 cup peeled nectarine (1 large), cubed¼ cup red onion, chopped1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped1/8 teaspoon salt¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Place all ingredients in bowl and mix. Serve with whole-grain chips or grilled fish or grilled chicken. Serve inside a watermelon rind bowl.
Nutrition FactsServings: 8; serving size, ½ cup; calories, 35; total fat, 0 grams; saturated fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 35 milligrams; potassium, 140 milligrams; carbohydrates, 9 grams; fiber, 1 gram; protein, 1 gram.
Blueberry Lime Salsa1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed5 medium strawberries, stems removed¼ cup red onion, diced1 teaspoon lime zest2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves½ avocado, chopped
Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor or blender. Pulse until you have the consistency you like. Scrape salsa into a bowl and fold in chopped avocado. Serve with whole-grain tortilla chips, grilled chicken or grilled salmon.
Nutrition FactsServings: 8; serving size, ¼ cup; calories, 30; total fat, 1 gram; saturated fat, 0 grams; cholesterol, 0 milligrams; sodium, 20 milligrams; potassium, 100 milligrams; carbohydrates, 5 grams; fiber, 1 gram; protein, 1 grams.