Heading into summer, there are two things you’ll probably want out of your food: no-cook options that won’t require you to spend any time heating up your house with the stove or oven, and healthier options that will help those summer clothes fit a bit more comfortably. You might be surprised to hear that a common snack food can actually help you with both those goals. Let’s talk a little more about salsa.
Salsa Nutritional Facts
Chips and salsa may not be the healthiest snack, but that’s not salsa’s fault. In fact, salsa contains only around 20 calories per serving (perhaps even less, depending on the type). Not many other dips, sauces or condiments can boast so much flavor with so few calories. Moreover, those calories don’t come from fat and sugar.
So what kind of salsa should you be making or buying? Fresh salsa like pico de gallo is the obvious choice in the summer, since it only requires that you do a little chopping of vegetables, peppers and citrus. If you want something more substantial, you could try a Southwestern salsa, which typically has beans and corn instead of a tomato base. If you’re really craving the creamy, classic mild salsa dip that has to be stewed on the stove, consider picking it up at the store instead of making it at home — the nutritional difference is actually very slight.
Recipes Using Salsa
Now, on to how to use all that delicious salsa. Salsa is an easy and healthy way to spice up no-cook summer standards such as salads, sandwiches and wraps. You can even make a healthy no-cook summer pizza by starting with a pre-made pizza crust, substituting salsa for tomato sauce, and then topping with crumbled feta cheese and fresh vegetables. And if you’re keeping out of the kitchen by taking your cooking out to the grill, salsa can be just as delicious there. Try topping grilled meat or fish with a hearty spoonful (or two) of fresh salsa, and you’ll get the smoky, spicy and bright flavors summer is known for.
Do you have any favorite ways to use salsa in the summer? Share your ideas in the comments.