May 2, 2018

May is National Salsa Month. Celebrate with these healthy, delicious salsa recipes.

“Salsa” is the Spanish word for “sauce,” but the food predates the Spaniards’ presence in the Americas by many centuries. Sauce made from a combination of chiles, tomatoes and even squash seeds and beans has been documented as far back as the Aztec, Mayan and Inca cultures.

May includes Cinco de Mayo, or May 5. The date is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when Mexico defeated French forces in the course of the Franco-Mexican war.

In the United States it’s often an excuse to consume our favorite Mexican foods. Although many of these favorite Mexican dishes are heavy with cheese, creams and oils, salsa is healthy and fresh.

Salsa is usually tomato-based. It is typically served as a dip for tortilla chips, but can be used to add flavor to many dishes, or as a topping for anything from green salad to baked fish. Salsa can include any number of additions: tomatillos, chilies, jalapenos, peppers, onions, corn, avocado, beans, fruit, herbs and spices. There are many kinds of salsa, varying in texture, ingredients and spiciness. It’s fun to experiment with different ingredients to create your own favorite salsa. But if you’ve never made it at home before and need suggestions, try spicing up Cinco de Mayo this year with any of these delicious salsa recipes:

Pico de Gallo (salsa fresca)

1 medium tomato, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (wearing disposable latex or plastic gloves while chopping hot peppers will protect your skin from irritation)
2 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. In a medium bowl, combine tomato, onion, jalapeno pepper (to taste), cilantro and green onion.
2. Season with garlic powder, salt (if using) and pepper.
3. Stir until evenly distributed.
4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 21; Carbohydrates: 4.7 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Fat: 0.1 grams; Fiber: 1 grams; Protein: 0.8 grams; Sodium: 76 milligrams

Recipe from

Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped (wearing disposable latex or plastic gloves while chopping hot peppers will protect your skin from irritation)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. In a medium bowl, mix mango, red bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice and lemon juice.
2. Cover and let sit at least 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 21; Carbohydrates: 5.4 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Fat: 0.1 milligrams; Fiber: 0.7 grams; Protein: 0.3 grams; Sodium: 1 milligrams;

Recipe from

Corn Avocado Salsa

3 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
1 red onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Place the corn in a large pot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook until kernels are tender but crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain, and cool in cold water. Use a knife to scrape kernels from the cobs.
2. Place kernels in a medium bowl. Stir in avocados, red onion, bell pepper and garlic.
3. Add cumin, red pepper flakes and cilantro.
4. Mix in vinegar, olive oil and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Makes four servings.

Nutritional information per (1-cup) serving:
Calories: 315; Carbohydrates: 29.1 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Fat: 22.9 milligrams; Fiber: 10.2 grams; Protein: 5.4 grams; Sodium: 26 milligrams

Recipe from