Enjoying Fresh Salsa
I enjoy salsa, fresh or canned. For me, the spicier the better. I can put it on everything, with tortilla chips being my favorite but it tastes pretty good on omelettes, too.
Even better is that salsa is loaded with nutrition, with different health benefits coming from fresh and canned. Good thing I like both.
The juicy fresh red tomato, combined with jalapeno, onion, garlic and lime, turns a simple-to-prepare batch of salsa into a nutrition powerhouse. It’s packed with a variety of minerals and vitamins. A single tomato alone provides one-quarter of the recommended amount of daily vitamin C. And when you add in the extra vitamin C coming from the jalapeno and lime, it’s a win-win.
Fresh vs Canned
The vitamin C content is higher in fresh salsa than in jarred salsa. I wasn’t surprised with all the freshness in a batch.
According to a Cornell University study, when tomatoes are processed/cooked at 190 degrees F for 30 minutes they lose up to 29 percent of their vitamin C content. However, lycopene, believed to cut cancer risk, is actually increased by 168 percent when cooked for 30 minutes.
My conclusion? Eat them both, of course.
A List of Other Health Benefits
In addition to the immune-boosting benefits of vitamin C, here are a few highlights taken from this Healthline link Salsa: 10 Healthy Benefits
- Fiber. Scientists believe that consuming fiber-rich fruits and vegetables like those found in salsa reduces the risk for colon cancer and cardiovascular disease. Studies show fiber helps stabilize blood sugar, which is welcome news for diabetics.
- Lycopene. Research suggests that lycopene is of great benefit in reducing cancer risk, especially prostate, stomach and lung cancer.
- Potassium. Helps regulate blood pressure.
- Capsacin. Found in chili peppers capsacin can be another cancer fighter, especially prostate cancer. Research also indicates capsacin is a mood booster and fat burner.
- Citric acid. The citric acid in limes may lower the chances of getting kidney stones.
Making the Fresh Salsa
Making salsa is easy-peasy. First you need to do is rough chop your tomatoes and onion. Mince up the jalapeno, bell pepper, garlic and cilantro. Next, add all to a blender or food processor along with the lime juice, vinegar and seasonings. Pulse a few times to get the desired chunky consistency.
Too much pulsing/blending created a salsa that’s just a little too liquidy. If that happens, just let the salsa rest in the fridge for a few hours and drain out some of the liquid through a mesh strainer.
A Few Additional Notes
Be sure you taste the salsa after all ingredients have been combined. It may need more lime juice or cider vinegar. Begin by adding 1-2 Tablespoons at a time until it reaches your desired taste.
You may want to add more salt to your recipe. Before letting loose with the salt shaker, remember that your chips are usually salty.
Do you like it hot and spicey? Add more jalapeno, about ½ of jalapeno at a time and then TASTE.
Do you prefer it mild? Be sure to remove seeds and membranes from the jalapeno before chopping since that’s where most of the heat is found.
Remember to wear disposable plastic gloves when working with hot chili peppers. The burning feeling after touching your eyes with the hard-to-wash off chili oil on your hands is no fun. Speaking from experience.
Like most saucy things, this tastes better after resting in the fridge for a few hours.
Fresh Tomato with Jalapeno Pepper Salsa
- 1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped (I include seeds because I like it hot)
- 3 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 medium size green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup sweet onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/8 cup cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika or chipotle powder (optional for smoky flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- COMBINE the jalapeno pepper, tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, cider vinegar, oregano, paprika or chipotle powder (if using), cumin, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender.
- PULSE/BLEND until all ingredients are combined but still chunky. SERVE.