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Salsa is a red, hot sauce that is as popular and common as ketchup in many countries. It is believed to have been created in Latin America before the recipe was spread to other parts of the world. It is now made in many variations. Some like it hot, others mild. Some use tomatoes; others prefer a mango-based sauce. Whatever your preferences, learn how to make salsa to add a zing to your menu.
What is Salsa Made of?
The traditional version of salsa is made with tomatoes, seeded chili peppers and onions. Cilantro is also a popular herb that can be added for flavor. As mentioned earlier, many nations have modified the original recipe, replacing tomatoes with carrots, mangoes and green onions. Some prefer substituting cilantro with paprika or using basil and parsley for a milder flavor.
Health Benefits of Salsa
You can gain a lot by learning how to make salsa if you’re losing weight. Chili peppers have been strongly associated with weight loss in recent years because of a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin has been shown to boost metabolism and reduce appetite naturally. In fact, it is now available as a supplement at health food and drug stores.
Other nutrients present in salsa are dependent on which ingredients you use. If you go with tomatoes, you can benefit from lycopene’s disease-fighting, anti-aging properties. A carrot-based salsa will be high in vitamin A to increase energy and improve vision. Mango-based sauces provide more than enough vitamin C to prevent everything from colds to cancer.
What is Salsa Used for?
Salsa is a condiment, which means you can use it the same way you use tomato sauce. Serve it as a dip for baked fries, nachos and crackers. Add a zing to lean burgers, pizzas and pastas. Serve it with salads or in soup. Add it as a sauce for shrimp, scampi, salmon and other seafood dishes. There are countless dishes you can serve salsa with.
How to Make Salsa at Home
Knowing how to make salsa at home is economical, simple and convenient. To make the classic sauce, you will need:
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 8 tomatoes, peeled and diced
- 2-6 red or green chili peppers, finely chopped
- 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sugar, brown or white
- Juice from 2 lemons or lime
- Salt as needed
Mix onion and lemon/lime juice in a medium bowl. Add diced tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and sugar. Combine well.
Once the sugar dissolves, cover the top of the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Serve.
How to Make Salsa Tips and Tricks
Prepping chili peppers and tomatoes can be tricky. To peel peppers, insert a skewer in each and hover over a griddle pan or gas burner to blister the skin. Put peppers in a bag, close it and leave for 20 minutes before peeling. Cut them open, remove seeds and chop. To peel tomatoes, make small cross cut on the bottom and pour them with boiling water. Plunge them immediately in cold water until the skins loosen.
Salsa has benefits for your palate and your waistline. Learn how to make salsa to replace unhealthy condiments and to give flavor to your daily meals.