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Salsa by Three

So many things make us feel summer. The heat of course, but all the different fresh fruits and vegetables you taste…ah, it is summer!

In all the heat, salsa is a refreshing snack option, an addition to a recipe, and a way to use up extra ingredients. It is probably not a surprise that salsa has its own variations, and not all of them include tomatoes.

Salsas can help you get in your fruits and veggies. Be aware that bottled salsas and some pre-bought store salsas may be high in sodium. Making salsa yourself helps you control the sodium and let the fresh flavors shine.  (And look for unsalted chips.)

Our Extension offices are teaching a hands-on salsa-making workshop this month. If you do not get a chance to join us, you can still make the recipes at home. Leave a comment and let us know how you made these recipes your own!

Corn and Bean Salsa (makes 6 cups, serving size 1/2 cup)

Enjoy this colorful salsa with protein and fiber.

3 medium red tomatoes, washed and coarsely chopped
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-oz) can yellow corn, rinsed and drained (or 1 cup fresh or frozen corn)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp black pepper (optional)

    1. Combine all of the ingredients in a glass bowl.
    2. Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later. Eat within 7 days.

    Nutritional analysis per serving: 60 calories, 1g fat, 80mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g protein

    Cucumber Strawberry Salsa (serves 18, serving size 2 Tbsp)

    Salsas do not have to have tomatoes. This fruit salsa is very fresh and light.

    1 cup diced strawberries, washed
    1 cup diced cucumber, washed
    1/2 cup finely diced red onion
    1/4 cup fresh mint, rinsed and chopped 1 Tbsp lime juice
      1. In a bowl, combine strawberries, cucumber, onion, and mint. Toss with lime juice.
      2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with baked whole-grain chips or crackers.

      Nutritional analysis per serving: 5 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g protein

      Fresh Salsa (makes 4 cups, serving size 1/3 cup)

      A classic salsa recipe. You can also make this in a food processor by adding all ingredients and pulsing until it reaches your desired consistency.

      6 tomatoes, preferably Roma (or 3 large tomatoes)
      1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
      1 clove garlic, finely minced
      2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, finely chopped*
      3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
      Juice of 1 lime
      1/8 teaspoon dried oregano, finely crushed
      1/8 teaspoon salt
      1/8 teaspoon pepper
        1. Combine all of the ingredients in a glass bowl.
        2. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve. Eat within 7 days.

        *Use gloves when working with hot peppers. Do not rub your eyes, nose, or mouth, as peppers may burn or irritate skin

        Nutritional analysis per serving: 15 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 0g protein

        Source: University of Illinois' Fiesta of Flavors

        Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.