Backyard gardens are bursting with fresh veggie goodness at this time of year. It’s finally time to enjoy the fruits of our labor! Why not start the celebration with some garden-fresh salsa?
Salsa is one of the healthiest and most delicious snack foods out there. And making it fresh blows the lids off of anything out of a jar.
Traditional salsa — tomatoes, chilies and other spices — dates back to the indigenous Aztec, Inca and Mayan Indians, believe it or not. They added it to their food for flavor. Today, salsa leads the way on lists of favorite condiments, even outpacing the old stand-by, ketchup!
Salsa comes in many varieties as well. Some versions include corn, cucumbers, avocado, mango, celery and even apples. It all depends on how creative you can be!
We’ve pulled together some healthy salsa recipes you’ll raid your garden to make. Enjoy!
1. Perfect Garden Fresh Salsa
Tomatoes are widely available year-round, but especially during the summer months, so why not whip up this recipe with your freshly picked harvest? A little cilantro, garlic, lime juice, onion, cumin, salt and your favorite hot pepper(s) make a delish fresh salsa (aka pico de gallo). Try substituting xylitol for the sugar if you’ve got it handy – a little goes a long way.
Tomatoes contain vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, vitamin K, potassium, copper, manganese and fiber, just to name a few of its nutrients. They are known for their antioxidant content and for being linked to heart health.
Brittany from A Healthy Slice of Life shares this tasty recipe that won’t end up soupy and inconsistent like typical fresh salsas tend to do. As she says, “The secret is in the tomato prep.” Check out this recipe to see how she does it!
Find the recipe here.
2. Corn Tomato Avocado Salsa (aka Salad)
Jeanette shares this amazing salsa recipe on her blog, Jeanette’s Healthy Living. In addition to cherry tomatoes, it includes corn, avocado, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and plenty of great seasonings. As she explains, “This salsa is full of summer flavors and would be great if you have some fresh basil to toss in.”
It looks almost like a salad, and for those of you who avoid chips or grains, dig in! You don’t need greasy chips to love this salsa (salad). Grab your spoon or fork and enjoy.
Avocado contains pantothenic acid, fiber, vitamin K, folate, omega-3 and other great nutrients. It also includes monounsaturated fat, especially oleic acid, which may result in heart-related benefits.
Get the recipe here. Jeanette also has a special diet section of recipes for those looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, etc. Check it out!
3. Mango Cucumber Salsa
Jennifer at Ricotta & Radishes adds a different twist to fresh salsa with her Mango Cucumber Salsa recipe — a fresh spicy version made with mango, cucumbers, lime juice and red chilies.
Cucumbers are a nice twist to a mango salsa, especially when fresh-picked out of the garden. Is there anything better than a cucumber right off the vine? These guys are my all-time favorite. Not only are cucumbers refreshing, they contain vitamin K, molybdenum, pantothenic acid, well-rounded by a bit of vitamin C and magnesium. They are also known for their phytonutrients and for their antioxidant activity.
Jennifer also has suggestions for a few other ingredient combinations you may want to try, such as peaches, pineapple or watermelon. To really jazz it up, add more savory ingredients like black beans, mint or radishes.
Find the recipe here.
4. Green Apple Salsa
Why not reign in the start of apple season with a Green Apple Salsa? Grab the tart Granny Smith apples, celery, cucumbers, onions, zesty cilantro and tangy apple cider vinegar to make this oh-so-good recipe from Cathy at Lemon Tree Dwelling. Experience a taste explosion in your mouth and wake up your taste buds with this one!
There doesn’t seem to be any “one” thing that apples are known for nutrient-wise. Rather, they are known to contribute to health in a variety of ways. The phytonutrients in apples contribute to great health benefits, including antioxidant activity. Whole apples are a decent source of fiber and support the digestive system, too. The phytosterols in apples also support heart health, blood sugar in the healthy range and more.
Maybe there is something to that old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
Break out the blue tortilla chips and give this a try!
Get the recipe here.
5. Fresh Salsa Fresca
Ciera at Homegrown & Healthy shares this traditional salsa (pico de gallo) recipe. Made with all-natural, fresh ingredients, it is authentic and wonderfully flavorful!
This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, etc. Or, if you’re like me, on these kinds of recipes, you don’t really measure. Just chop away, throw it in, and mix it up until it looks and tastes good. I would suggest following directions though the first time and taking notes of what you might increase or decrease for the next time around.
If you’ve inherited a cookbook from your mom or other relative, hopefully that is what you have. Great little notes and scribbles on recipes, why it’s good, why it’s bad, whatever. Mine include spatters of tomato juice or smears of frosting here and there. That is a treasure! Thanks Mom.
You can make this tasty snack in minutes, but Ciera suggests that you let it sit for 15 minutes to give the flavors a chance to blend. Get started with the recipe here. Then, dig in!
6. Homemade Mexican Garden Canned Salsa
Okay, gotta throw in one canned salsa recipe. These fresh ones are good but this is great to pull out in the winter, at least in Wisconsin!
This one lives here – at least for now. It’s my favorite that I have tweaked and tuned over the years. This makes about 6 pint jars of zesty salsa.
|12 Cups chopped Roma tomatoes||1/4 Cup fresh lime juice|
|3 Cups chopped onion & 4 chopped garlic cloves||1 1/2 T pickling salt|
|1 Cup seeded & chopped Anaheim or Poblano peppers||1 T raw honey|
|1 1/2 Cups seeded & chopped jalapeno peppers||1-2 sprigs cilantro per jar|
|1/2 Cup white wine vinegar||4 T tomato paste|
Canning salsa is very easy. But if you’ve never canned before, it can be a little daunting. Check out this article for canning tips that may help you for this recipe and your next canning masterpiece.
Combine all ingredients in an 8-quart stainless steel pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. If your tomatoes are a little on the juicy side, you may wish to drain a little excess juice off before ladling into jars.
Use a plastic knife to remove air bubbles and add more salsa to get to 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process in a very low boil water bath for 15 minutes.
Do you have a go-to salsa recipe you’d like to share? If so, comment about it below. We’d love to hear from you!
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