Healthy Salsa Recipe With Cilantro

This recipe may well become a kitchen favorite because you will be addicted to the freshness and zip it adds to all your dishes or on its own with some sesame tortilla chips. I make it about once a week and store it in my fridge so that I always have a condiment on hand to add to any meal or snack.

You may have noticed in my last recipe post for homemade turkey loaf, I mentioned you could use salsa to dress the loaf instead of BBQ sauce, which is usually full of sugar. Not only is this a great addition to that recipe, but it’s a healthy and tasty alternative to ketchup and an ideal condiment for omelettes, sandwiches, fish, dip for crackers and tortilla chips. So it’s not just a summer recipe, after all.

Tomatoes are an amazing source of the carotenoid, lycopene. Lycopene has been studied extensively over the last few years for its cancer preventing properties and protection of DNA in white blood cells. It has been proven effective in reducing a number of different types of cancer, as I mentioned in this cancer-fighting salad recipe. All diets could benefit from more tomatoes, don’t you think?

To get the most bang for your buck, be sure to purchase organic tomatoes. Antioxidants are typically higher in organic foods and lycopene is no exception. Organic simply tastes better, in my opinion, so if your goal is to make delicious and nutritious food, then try an organic tomato.

Health benefits of cilantro and recipe after the jump

I absolutely adore learning about inexpensive foods that we can stock in our kitchen for their special healing properties. Cilantro is a nutritional superstar and the herb used in this recipe. Herbs are an excellent way to not only punch up the flavor of a recipe, but also to increase the health benefits of a dish.

Cilantro, has been called “the natural chelator”. This natural chelating ability was discovered by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura. He was one of the first people to uncover the medicinal benefits of cilantro and quite interestingly, completely by accident! The leaves of the coriander plant (cilantro) can accelerate the excretion of mercury, lead and aluminum from the body. Dr. Omura noticed the mercury level in urine increased after one consumed a healthy serving of Vietnamese soup, which contains Chinese parsley, or as it is better known in this country, cilantro. For those of you who aren’t fans of cilantro (apparently some people think it tastes “soapy” and I’ve heard this is a genetic trait – there are cilantro lovers and non-lovers, but no in between), you can substitute it with basil. Basil is a nutritional superstar as well, but for its antioxidant content.

Homemade Cilantro Salsa Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: 2 hot chili, serrano or jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

Directions: Combine onions and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for two to four hours to let the flavors flourish. Makes about two cups of salsa.

I am a garlic-lover, so if you don’t want a strong garlic flavor you can reduce the garlic to one clove instead of two. Garlic is incredible this time of year for increasing your immune system because it is both anti-microbial and anti-viral. Go garlic!

Enjoy!

Author: Joy McCarthy, owner of Joyous Health