Blog Post: The Case for a Fresh Salsa

The Case for a Fresh Salsa

Article by Leo Trevino

The “advice” that doesn’t keep giving.

You’ve heard it a thousand times; NO…you’ve heard it a million times! You’ve heard it since you were young. You hear it as part of every New Year’s resolution. Or you hear it when we strive to reach those ever-reaching goals and finally be “healthy” or “losing weight.”

You’ve even heard it when you didn’t want to hear it!

So what do I speak of? In fact, I may not even need to finish the sentence before you figure it out. Fruits and Vegetables are ______ for you (fill in the blank).

I would bet you filled in “good.” Yes…Fruits and vegetables are good for you. There it is, in all its bluntness and boring undertone.

We’ve heard this so much that we are possibly at the brink with this advice. We turn a deaf ear to it, it doesn’t faze us.

Many even take this advice a step further. You may have heard people claim you should eat more of a plant based diet. Something like vegetarian or vegan.

And with all our knowledge about the benefits of plant based foods, we still resist eating them. This is especially true in the beginning of your journey to improve your eating patterns. We just simply don’t get excited about them!

No place like processed foods

Many believe that fruits and vegetables aren’t as sexy, convenient or tasteful. Especially when compared to everything else. And this makes sense. A piece of broccoli will have a hard time competing with an Oreo cookie. With ten of thousands of products out there “designed” to stimulate our taste buds, fruits and vegetables take a back seat.

We live in a society that is bombarded with products that have a huge taste simulating factor. This all has to do with combinations of salt, sugar, and fat in our food. In Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (read my review here), he outlines how this powerful combination of taste keeps us coming back for more.

In a sense, we are “attached” to these foods. It’s no wonder “taste” becomes king. Add to the fact that these super tasty products are everywhere! How can simple fruits and vegetables compete? Many believe they can’t. Or at least we may “think” that they “can’t.”

Let’s shift our thinking…and ask, “what can do about this?” What is one option we can do to turn this around, to give fruits and vegetables a fighting chance? To let them become something we actually “want” to eat? Is it even possible?

Absolutely!

Going beyond the salad bar and the blender…

There a many options, many that may turn you away…such as fresh salads or green smoothies. For majority of us that start eating vegetables for the first time, we can find salads to be dull or intimidating. Plus the added cost of time to chop and prepare, or the expense to buy them pre-chopped.

Green smoothies can have a similar reception. Many times we can become “disgusted” because it’s green in color. They say you “eat with your eyes,” right?

But I want to dig deeper. I want to see if there is a way to make vegetables (and fruits) a little more comfortable to jump right into. Something we can try from the start of our journey to eat better. Or for those you are already eating plenty of veggies and fruits, a new way to “spice” things up.

So what is my solution? Fresh salsas! That’s it! Fresh salsas are one way in your bag of tricks that you can add to the enjoyment of eating more vegetables. Not to mention, they can give you that edge at a party when you prepare a bowl of fresh salsa and let the party devour! But that’s after you’ve become pro, let’s get into the basics first.

A “fresh” start

First off, what’s an example of a fresh salsa?

If you have ever had “pico de gallo,” you can smell where I’m going with this. Or perhaps you had a “mixture” of fresh pineapple, tomatoes, onions, and seasonings on top of grilled fish or chicken.

Basically at its core, fresh salsas are a mixture of chopped vegetables, herbs, seasonings, fruits, and, in some cases, olive oil. But in reality, the combinations for a fresh salsa are endless. When you combine these foods together and allow them to marinate in their own juices, you have something magical in place!

Fresh salsa are not cooked in its preparation liked a traditional salsa. So it’s a bit different from the salsa from a Mexican restaurant or on the store shelves. It’s prepared fresh, and left to marinate. Which is one the many reasons I find this to be so exciting!

The case for fresh salsas

First, many argue that certain vegetables are better suited to eat in raw form. The argument they say, is that you absorb more nutrition. So for the sake of this strategy, eating fresh salsas gives you an edge on eating more “raw” vegetables. Of course that’s not to dis-credit cooked vegetables, they have their place to. For those who choose to eat strictly raw vegetables, fresh salsas are a very attractive option.

Secondly, and I believe more importantly, the fresh salsas will last up to 5 days in the fridge when placed in a reliable sealed container! Let me repeat that…Fresh salsas will last up to 5 days in the fridge when placed in reliable sealed containers. This is one of those things where, the longer it sits and marinates, the better it will taste!!

So no prepping what so ever after you make it. Just easily grab a bowl and you now have a perfect base, snack or topping.

To compare, most fresh salads or green smoothies will need to be prepared at the time you are going to eat them. With a fresh salsa, you prepare once…and now you have it available to you for the next 5 days. Imagine that! No prepping, blending or cooking with your fresh salsa. It’s ready for you quick, easy, and convenient. Who would have thought eating vegetables could have that option!?!

Aside from their amazing taste and endless combinations, fresh salsa can compete with the best of salads or smoothies. In fact, one area that fresh salsas are superior will give you more than a reason to try them more often. So what do I speak of?

Variety.

If there is one common truth to all nutrition advice it is this; get a variety of nutritious foods in your diet. It is a given! In fact, the Dietary Guidlines for Americans has a break down of daily recommendation for each “sub-category” of vegetables.

I know, we thought just eating vegetables was enough, and now we have to deal with “sub-categories!?!” Well don’t worry; you don’t have to dwell on it, especially if you shoot for variety. And especially if you shoot for fresh salsas!

That’s because fresh salsa can easily incorporate every single sub-category. Making it easy and worry free…but the big question always looms…do they taste good? And aren’t fresh salsas just used to eat with chips? I mean…how can that be “healthy”….?

A new way to think of chips and salsa…

Many of us can limit our thinking to eating fresh salsas with chips, and chips alone. And this is a common choice. But is it the only one? Perhaps it’s what you would do if you served it at a party, but it’s not the only option!

In fact, if you ate it with chips and it made you eat more vegetables, then awesome! This can be the small step to help with the big change of eating more veggies. And we can take that step and grow from it. So what do I talk of…Versatility!

With a fresh salad, you can spice it with a great dressing. With a green smoothie, you can really only eat it in that way. With a fresh salsa however, the options are limitless!

When taste is king, you need to have a weapon at your disposal to help you eat more veggies, get more variety, and enjoy every bite!

Fresh salsas are your key to including vegetables with a variety of options. The classic salsa and chips is OK, but how about using whole wheat crackers instead? Or if your eating low carb, maybe even cut up vegetables as your dipping partner for your salsa?

You can also mix the salsa into a variety of dishes as a topping. Its perfect flavoring and topping in tacos, quesadillas, and burgers.

You can top it on a cooked piece of meat such as fish or chicken.

You can mix it in a bowl of brown rice to give the rice more color and flavor.

Even do double power and use it as a salad dressing with salads!

I’ve even used it simply mixed with a can of tuna on occasion.

Of course, you can also eat it by itself! It’s up to you, but you have many options on ways to use it throughout the 5 days it’s available. The choices are endless!

Fresh salsa help you on your journey to eat better

Whether you trying to eat better, or continuing your quest in having a quality eating pattern…preparing and planning is an absolute must. And this is true with fresh salsas. Prepare them once, let them sit and marinate, and have a tasty option for you throughout the week!

I hope you consider your options with using fresh salsas in your eating pattern. And to help you on your journey I included three of my personal favorite recipe links below.

To help with your fresh salsa planning, try the plan to eat web app for free!! Plan to eat make the most out of your meals, saves you money, reduces food waste, and helps you and your family eat better!!

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