Registered Dietitian with Interior Health
For me a fresh tomato off the vine is one of the best parts of summer.
This time of year tomatoes are in abundance, and one of my favourite ways to use them is in salsa.
Salsa made with fresh, locally grown ingredients is so much tastier than the store bought variety and it can be a nutritious snack.
Tomatoes are low in sugar and calories and are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and fibre. They are also a great source of the antioxidant called lycopene, which is thought to help prevent prostate cancer.
Lycopene is more readily absorbed from cooked tomatoes so cooking and canning salsa is a good way to preserve tomatoes for the winter months.
The one nutrition downfall to salsa is that it can be high in sodium, but if you’re making your own you can control the amount of salt you use. Fresh herbs and spicy peppers provide so much flavour that excess salt is unnecessary.
Here is a fresh salsa recipe that makes a great appetizer or can be served on fish or chicken.
2 cups fresh roma tomatoes, diced/1 red pepper, roasted and diced/1 cup black beans (optional)
1/2 cup red onion/diced
1/3 cup cilantro/chopped
2 limes, juiced
½-1 jalapeño, seeds removed (use jalapenos as per your heat preference)/1 tsp cumin
salt to taste
Roast the red pepper by placing under the broiler.
Allow the skin to blacken and crack, using tongs to turn frequently.
You want to blacken the skin but not burn the flesh.
When the pepper is black on all sides remove from the oven and place in a paper bag or a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow the pepper to sit for at least five minutes before peeling off the blackened skin and removing the core and seeds.
Chop the cooled pepper and the rest of the ingredients and combine with cumin and salt to your taste.