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Posts Tagged: Salsa

Three step salsa

Tomatoes, garlic, and peppers are three key ingredients in most salsa recipes. (Photo: UnSplash)
May is typically a month filled with family gatherings and festive celebrations. With Cinco de Mayo at your heels, maybe your appetite for salsa has been whetted and you're craving more. Or perhaps you're planning ahead for Memorial Day and want the perfect snack for that social gathering. No matter what holiday is on your mind, isn't it nice to crack open a jar of home-preserved salsa for any snacking occasion?

Here are three simple steps to having homemade salsa any time of the year.

Step 1 (optional): Grow the ingredients

Take the process from tomato trellises to taste buds by planting a salsa garden this time of year. Get started with a salsa staple like tomatoes. There are great published references for growing tomatoes, but if you have further questions, ask a UC Master Gardener volunteer in your county.

Step 2: Can the salsa 

There are many research tested recipes, allowing you to choose one that suits your taste best. Tomatoes: Safe Methods to Store, Preserver, and Enjoy contains two to start, including the recipe provided. Dig around on the UC Master Food Preserver Resources page to find more. 

Tomato/Tomato Paste Salsa
Makes 7 pint jars

Ingredients

3 quarts tomatoes (about 12 medium tomatoes), washed, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 cups onions (about 3 medium onions), chopped
1 ½ cups long green sweet peppers (about 4 Anaheim peppers), washed, seeded and chopped. Note: Sweet bell peppers may be substituted for long green peppers
6 tablespoons small hot red peppers (about 6 Jalapeno peppers), washed, seeded, and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 12-oz cans tomato paste
2 cups commercially bottled lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin (optional)
2 tablespoons oregano leaves (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

  1. Wash hands and work surfaces, and then prepare ingredients.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Ladle hot salsa into pint jars, leaving a 1/2–inch headspace.
  6. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel and apply two-piece metal canning lids.
  7. Process 15 minutes in a water bath canner at altitudes up to 1000 feet. Above 1000 feet, increase processing time by 1 minute for every additional 1000-foot increase in altitude.
  8. Let jars cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours, then check seals.

If you haven't canned before (or even if you have), turn to a local UC Master Food Preserver Program near you as a friendly resource.

Step 3: Eat the contents

Well, you are probably already very familiar with carrying out this step! Do it with confidence knowing that you followed a safe, home preservation process.

Whether you grow or buy, it is always fun to make and share your own jar. Are you craving salsa yet?

Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 8:24 AM

Wash Their Mouths Out With Soap

Oleander aphids absolutely love tender milkweed plants. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

We're not the only ones "celebrating" the first week of spring. The oleander aphids are doing a happy dance on our milkweed plants. We think they're doing a mixture of the tango, cha-cha-cha, salsa and merengue. Every time we walk past them, we see a...

Posted on Friday, March 25, 2016 at 4:20 PM

¡Salsa! It’s more than a flavorful condiment

Salsa is health food.
Salsa plays a much-deserved starring role in Mexican cuisine, adding not only refreshing and spicy flavors to breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner, but also conveying an ample supply of nutrients.

A blend of fruits, vegetables and seasonings, salsas are created almost entirely from the foods highly recommended by nutrition experts, says UC Cooperative Extension nutrition educator Margarita Schwarz.

“Experts recommend we eat 3 to  5 servings of vegetables and 2 to 4 servings of fruit daily and salsa is an excellent way to add these foods to our diets,” she said. “We can experiment in the kitchen with different blends, combining flavors that are sweet, acid and picante to create a dish that’s delicious and healthful.”

Schwarz said there are a wide variety of salsas:

  • Fresh salsa (also known as pico de gallo, which in Spanish is literally “rooster’s beak”) is made with chopped tomato, chili pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper
  • Salsa ranchero uses similar ingredients but the mixture is blended or grinded until almost smooth
  • Salsa verde (green salsa), in which the main ingredient is tomatillo, a tart fruit related to cape gooseberries
  • Guacamole is a sauce with avocado as the base
  • Mole is a dark-colored sauce made of roasted chili peppers, spices, chocolate and sometimes squash seeds
  • Corn salsa combines fresh salsa ingredients with a generous amount of cooked corn kernals
  • Mango salsa is a chunky, colorful blend that combines the sweet, tropical taste of mango fruit with onions and spices

In the late 1990s, it was widely reported that salsa sales surpassed ketchup sales in U.S. grocery stores. That’s a good thing. Ketchup contains sugar, and salsa generally has none. Salsa is low in calories and contains little to no fat. The tomatoes, chilies and cilantro in salsa have vitamins A and C and the tomatoes contribute potassium to the diet.  The avocado in guacamole contains fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C and potassium.

“Sometimes people will say: ‘I don’t eat avocados because they have fat,’ but this is the fat that the body needs and that can help prevent cardiovascular disease,” Schwarz said

Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce, but the mixture was a staple of Latin American indigenous cuisine long before the Spanish conquest. Tomato, avocado, tomatillo and many hot peppers are native to Central and South America.

The other “salsa,” a popular Latin dance, is also good for the heart, Schwarz said. The salsa originated in Cuba and Puerto Rico, but all of Latin America has incorporated it into their musical lexicon. Salsa’s fast tempo makes it such a lively physical activity, some health clubs offer salsa classes for aerobic exercise.

Mango Salsa

Following is a mango salsa recipe from the UC Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program curriculum:

Ingredients:

1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced (or 1 cup thawed frozen mango chunks)

1 tablespoon diced red onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried cilantro (optional)

¼ teaspoon salt

Juice of 1 lime or 2 tablespoons bottle lime juice

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Serve with baked tortilla chips  or us as a garnish for chiken or fish.
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 6:07 AM
  • Posted By: Jeannette E. Warnert
  • Written by: Norma de la Vega. Adapted from Spanish by Jeannette Warnert.
Tags: fruit (1), Hispanic (1), nutrition (1), salsa (3), vegetables (1)
 
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