Spice up July 4th with my five-ingredient salsa

This July 4th weekend, why not “WOW” your family and guests by making a big bowl of fresh, homemade salsa?

The simple, festive ingredients can complement almost any meal you decide to serve over the weekend.

Not to mention, homemade salsa (as opposed to the bland, processed salsa sold in stores) absolutely BURSTS with color, flavor, and nutrition.

Here’s how to prepare my simple, five-ingredient salsa…

My go-to salsa recipe

To make this delicious salsa, you’ll need: organic tomatoes, red onion, hot peppers, cilantro, and lime. Then, here’s what you do…

1.) Coarsely chop two mid-sized, organic tomatoes of your favorite variety. (Tomatoes contain loads of vitamin C as well as the healthy carotenoid lycopene, both of which support good health.)

2.) Finely chop half a red onion. If you want less “bite,” you may opt for just a quarter onion. (Red onions contain more healthy carotenoids and anthocyanins for heart health. They also contain lots of vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid.)

3.) Spice up your salsa with a finely diced hot pepper. The hotter the pepper, the more inflammation-fighting capsaicin it contains. (Hot peppers also contain plenty of vitamin C.)
You can also refer to the Scoville scale to help determine a pepper’s heat. Here are some general guidelines…

  • Smaller peppers are typically hotter.
  • Most peppers start green, and as they mature, they turn red and get hotter.
  • Banana peppers (green-yellow) are less hot and also more tangy, due to pickling.
  • Poblano peppers (green) are mild. (When dried they’re called ancho chili.)
  • Jalapeño peppers (green) are mildly hot.
  • Serrano peppers (green) are moderately hot and about three-to-five times spicier than popular jalapeños.
  • Habanero peppers (green-yellow-orange) are about a hundred times hotter than jalapeños.

4.) Coarsely chop a bunch of fresh cilantro. This herb will help balance out the heat of the peppers. Cilantro also contains vitamin C. And lab studies show it reduces infection and inflammation. Plus, some evidence suggests it helps the body eliminate heavy metals, such as mercury, and other toxic contaminants linked to bone weakness, cancer, dementia, heart, and kidney disease.

Technically, cilantro refers to the leaves of the coriander plant. And, of course, dried and ground coriander is a key ingredient used in South and Southeast Asian curry—together with turmeric, cumin, and chili pepper (which also have a host of anti-inflammatory benefits).

5.) Cut a lime in half (another great source of vitamin C). Then, squeeze the juice from both halves into your bowl.

6.) Gently fold all of these delicious, fresh ingredients together with a spoon. Then—it’s ready to serve fresh!

There you have it. A simple, delicious recipe to try this Independence Day weekend. It will add flavor and flair to the menu…and some excellent nutritional value, to boot.

You can find most of the ingredients at your local farmer’s market. Or—if you keep fresh herbs in a pot of your patio, as I do, just pluck them straight from there.

Happy Fourth of July!