Did you know that, according to Fox News, salsa is now the most popular condiment in the United States? Thanks to an increased interest in healthy eating, different types of salsa, from those based on classic southwestern salsa recipes to hearty black bean versions, regularly fly off the shelves. Salsa nutrition, when compared to ketchup, relish, and other more traditional American condiments is robust, so its popularity isn’t terribly surprising.
That being said, not every type of salsa is truly all that good for you. Fresh salsa calories may be low, but what you might not realize is that many low end brands are full of salt and added sugars. While there are certainly varieties out there without these issues, making your own salsa at home and serving it in certain ways can ensure your salsa nutrition is as good for your heart, waist, and taste buds as possible.
How to Transform Your Classic Mild Salsa Dip into a Nutritional Powerhouse
- Don’t Make Your Salsa Stand Alone
- Give the Tomatoes a Rest
- Take It Easy on the Seasoning
For the popular fitness magazine Men’s Health, the key to eating healthy salsa might just be pairing it with guacamole, its equally popular cousin. As the source writes, salsa is rich in carotenoids, a biochemical that is known to ward off certain kinds of cancer, lessen our risk of heart disease, and protect our eyes from cataracts. The problem? With out omega-3 fatty acids, our stomach has a hard time absorbing that chemical. By pairing salsa with guacamole, a mother lode of these fatty acids, you’ll get all the benefits of these health-boosting phytochemicals.
We realize this might be a little blasphemous, but have you tried using something other than tomatoes to make a great salsa? The key to great nutrition is eating a wide variety of foods and consuming a wide variety of minerals and vitamins. That’s why Cooking Light suggests replacing the noble tomato with the fun, refreshing watermelon on occasion. Watermelon is 92% water, meaning it’s super low in calories, and brings big punches of vitamins A, C, and K with every bite. No one is suggesting you give up tomato-based salsa altogether — that would be madness — but you should vary things from time to time in order to round out your diet.
As aforementioned, one of the biggest dangers of buying the wrong brands of salsa is that the lower quality options are filled with salt, added sugars, and other additives in hopes of making them taste as good as the better varieties. Making your own salsa can help you avoid this pitfall, but you need to be careful when seasoning your own recipes, too. Properly made salsas are already sweet enough, meaning you shouldn’t need to add any sugar. Using salt sparingly and adding lemon juice will help brighten the flavors, without you needing to raise your blood pressure in the progress. Remember, authentic salsa is all about clean, natural flavors.
What do you do in your kitchen to help boost salsa nutrition? Share your culinary expertise in the comment section below.