When my husband and I were rained out last week for our backpacking trip, we celebrated our anniversary here at home making salsa. We picked all of our hot peppers, made a visit the farmer’s market to pick up some tomatoes, onions and garlic. By making our own, we save lots of money since most premium salsas cost over 4 dollars for about half a pint and ours costs less than a dollar for a quart. Other benefits to making it include knowing exactly what ingredients went into our creation which includes our choice to add less salt and it is a local food item also!

Salsa is a vegetarian, healthy food and it has surpassed ketchup as the number one condiment. Some of the benefits include lycopene from the tomatoes which is a phytochemical that actually becomes activated when you cook the tomatoes. Onions and garlic contain allium which is associated with a lower risk of cancer, mood elevation and maintenance of skin and hair. Peppers have a lot of health benefits also, the chemical capsium has been known to increase metabolism so it may have an anti-obesity benefit. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Some recent research has found that eating spicy food may help you even live longer! Check out this article for more:

Live longer spice it up!

 

Our salsa made with local ingredients.

Our salsa made with local ingredients.

Wanda’s Summer Salsa

The recipe that we use is one that we got from my husband’s mom, Wanda. If you are following the low fodmap diet, skip the onions and garlic.

1 box of local tomatoes tomatoes

3-4 large onions

Pound of peppers (give or take depending on your heat tolerance)

A head of garlic

One tablepoon salt

2 cup vinegar

(we also add cilantro and sometimes even add some chipotles)

Heat tomatoes a few minutes in a kettle and take out to cool to peel skins (you could also roast your tomatoes in the oven for a smoky flavor). Chop onion, garlic and peppers. Take care chopping the peppers because the oil from them can burn your hands and other body parts like eyes, also. We food process them. They can be seeded to remove a little heat also. Cook all the ingredients for an hour and a half with the exception of the cilantro which you will add at the end. After the salsa has cooked down a little, we put it the salsa into canning jars and hot water bath it. For more information on canning using a hot water bath and making salsa, check out:
http://www.pickyourown.org/salsa.htm
For those of you not ready for a canning adventure, you can freeze up a batch instead and there is more about salsa making and a few recipes:
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn175.pdf

We love to use our salsa to make many of our plant based recipes like nachos, tacos, heuvos racheros, burritos, taco salads and fajitas.  This salsa also makes a great gift! Last year our cousins surprised us with a jar of salsa from their garden and it was awesome. We rarely make enough to give for gifts because we usually eat it all up!

I hope that you will consider making some salsa using local ingredients. Stop by the farmer’s market and fix some this weekend. A batch of salsa is a way to eat seasonal foods year long. When summer is over, you will have more than just your photos to remember your summer and your taste buds will thank you!

If you don’t have a chance to make your own salsa, try some of Joel and Tara’s Smoking J’s Fery Foods

Thank you for stopping by to check out this salsa recipe! You can find more of my recipes in other blog posts in addition to my recipe page Denise’s Recipes

I am a Asheville Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, you can find more about me at Learn More About Denise

Pick up some local produce and make some salsa!

Pick up some local produce and make some salsa!

 

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