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When you visit your local Mexican restaurant, chances are you’ll be served a colorful dish of freshly made salsa. The good news is when you scoop this spicy red sauce onto your fajita, burrito, or taco you’ll be getting more than great taste. You’re also enjoying the many health benefits this Mexican condiment has to offer. Some of these health benefits include: Lycopenes!! Salsa is made from tomatoes, a vegetable rich in heart healthy lycopenes. These carotenoids are being studied for their role in preventing various types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer as well as heart disease prevention. Chili peppers!! What would salsa be without fiery chili peppers? It turns out that chili peppers have some amazing health benefits of their own. The active ingredient in chili peppers known as capsaicin has been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory effects which may be helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis. It’s also has anti-cancer, anti-ulcer, and anti-bacterial properties. Plus, the capsaicin in chili peppers also has a slight thermogenic effect which could play a role in treating obesity. Low in calories and fat!! Salsa is a calorie watcher’s best friend. Most salsa has only four to five calories per tablespoon. Plus, it usually has no added sugar or fat. It makes an excellent substitute for ketchup which is usually loaded with sugar. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals!! Despite being low in calories, salsa is high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. It’s a good source of iron, as well as magnesium and potassium to help maintain normal blood pressure. The combinations are endless, but, no matter what you add into your favorite salsa, preparing it homemade allows for you to watch the sodium, and alter the flavor to fit your palette. Whip this easy snack together and serve with fresh veggies, or my favorite, Lime Tortilla Chips!
Homemade Salsa Roja
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1 medium onion (yellow or white), quartered
1-2 jalepeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1 hot yellow pepper, seeds and ribs removed
3 cloves garlic
1 (28oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, UNdrained
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, drained
1 (15oz) can stewed tomatoes, Mexican style, drained
1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilis, drained
1 medium bunch cilantro
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
The juice of 2 large limes
2 avocados, diced
Place onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, salt and cumin (if desired) in a food processor (or blender). Pulse until combined. Add cilantro, stems removed, and pulse until just broken down to desired consistency. Add lime juice and pulse 2-3 times to incorporate. Pour salsa into serving dish, add the chopped avocado.
I have to take a moment to thank SANTA for my new camera. It will come into great use!