Fresh salsa is an easy way to add flavor along with vitamins and minerals to your plate. Use it to accent your favorite chips or serve over main dishes to add a pop of flavor. It is a budget-friendly way to use leftover tomatoes, onion, and peppers.

Just rinse vegetables, cut into small pieces and toss them into the blender or food processor. Remember when you make dishes yourself, you control all the ingredients, so lower salt, sugar, and no preservatives are possible.

Always refrigerate fresh salsa within two hours of serving and remember it may be even better the second day. Leftover salsa, when refrigerated correctly, can be frozen and used later to flavor soups or chili. Freeze small amounts of salsa in ice cube trays and use a cube or two for extra flavor in your favorite dishes.

Favorite Salsa

You will need:

• Two medium tomatoes, peeled

• 1 medium jalapeno pepper rinsed, stem and seeds removed

• ½ small sweet onion, diced

• 1 small green bell pepper rinsed; stem and seeds removed

• Juice from one lime

• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley rinsed and chopped (optional)

• ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste.

Quick Tip: To remove the peeling from tomatoes quickly, fill a medium pan with water to the halfway point. Bring the water to a boil. Cut the core out of the tomato and use a sharp knife to cut the skin of the tomato across the bottom. Put the tomato into the boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds or until peeling starts to come loose. Pull peeling from the edges and it will slide off with no wasted tomato pulp. This works well if you have several tomatoes to peel.

Steps:

Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Check your blender or food processor to be sure bowl and blades are clean.

Put onion and peppers in blender and process for a few seconds until lightly chopped.

Add peeled tomatoes, lime juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Process until salsa is your favorite thickness.

Serve with chips or savory crackers and refrigerate within two hours.

For more vegetable recipes, contact Janet Steffens, Purdue Extension Educator in Floyd County at jsteffens@purdue.edu.

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