Love Salsa? Try Making Your Own!

Salsa is delicious and healthy, but it can be expensive -- especially if you eat it by the bowlful. You can save money and create a delicious fiesta for your palate with just a little time and your favorite fresh veggies.

Making the salsa

One of the best things about making your own salsa is that you don't need any special equipment. Kitchen gadgets like a mini chopper or food processor make the process easier, but they aren't required. All you really need to make salsa is a good chef's knife for chopping and a cutting board. That's because the procedure is as simple as one, two, three:

  1. Decide on the kind of flavors you want your salsa to have.
  2. Chop all your ingredients into coarse pieces. (The bigger the pieces, the chunkier your salsa will be.)
  3. Mix everything together, and, if you want, add some herbs for an extra zing.

That's it!

Ingredients

Part of the fun of making your own salsa is experimenting with different combinations and new ingredients. But there are a few that tend to be common choices, simply because they have flavors and consistencies that seem to work. The next time you get a salsa craving, try picking up a few of these veggies from the store:

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are the figurative bread and butter of many salsas, including the typical jarred salsas in the store. They add liquid to a salsa, which can be good or bad depending on your taste. If you don't like a lot of liquid in your salsa, just drain the tomatoes after you chop them.
  • Bell peppers: Red, yellow, and green bell peppers add flavor and substance to salsa without adding any heat. They're a great choice if you prefer mild salsa.
  • Red onions: Red onions have a sharper flavor than white or yellow onions, and they add a bold flavor that complements many other traditional salsa ingredients.
  • Jalapeno peppers: Jalapeno peppers will add a little heat to your salsa. Take the seeds out to cut the heat by half, or leave them in for full sizzle.
  • Serrano peppers: Serrano peppers can add a little more heat than jalapenos, as well as a different flavor.
  • Herbs: If you're making a spicy salsa, the peppers will give you enough flavor. But if you're after a milder version, adding herbs like garlic or cilantro can bring the flavor to a whole new level.

A sweet touch

Peppers, onions and herbs are common salsa ingredients, but spicy salsa isn't the only way to go. If you want to switch things up, try adding fruit to your salsa for a sweet foil to the savory flavors. Citrus fruits like mangoes, peaches and pineapple are all worthy candidates.

Learning how to make your own salsa isn't so much a matter of following a recipe as it is adding your own creative spin to classic ingredients. Your only limitation is your imagination.

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