Salsa Summer Fresca 

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Tomatoes are best in the summer months. Although tomatoes are now available year-round, the truly wonderful qualities of tomatoes are the best when they are in season from July through September.
In the area of food and phytonutrient research, nothing has been hotter in the last several years than studies on the lycopene in tomatoes. This carotenoid found in tomatoes (and everything made from them) has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. The antioxidant function of lycopene-its ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage-has been linked in human research to the protection of DNA (our genetic material) inside of white blood cells.
Prevention of heart disease, Colon Health, and in Prostate Health has been shown to be another antioxidant role played by lycopene.
Tomatoes have been shown to be helpful in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
With fresh ingredients, salsa has the perfect combination of spicy and refreshing tastes. Paired with some chips or added to a wrap, salsa is a great, healthy snack.

Medium to Large Vine Ripened or Fresh Tomatoes
1/2 Large Red Onion or 1 Large Cooking (white/yellow) Onion
1 Large Green Pepper (Add other colors too or mix for variations - Yellow is sweet)
3 Cloves of Garlic
Juice of 1/2 a Lime or Lemon
1 Tbsp. RealSalt - Fresh Cilantro/Coriander to taste
Optional for spiciness: 1/2-1 Jalapeno minced small (seed removed)

Add the garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, juice and a quarter of the onion to the food processor and run it until it is very finely diced up. Add the remainder of the ingredients except the Tomatoes to the food processor and pulse the food processor until a small (medium for chunky salsa) dice of the mix is achieved. Set that aside a large bowl. Add just the Tomatoes to the food processor and pulse until a fine to small dice is achieved. Drain off the excess liquid in the tomatoes from the processor in a fine strainer (a flour sifter is ideal) for 1 to 2 minutes. Save a bit (1-2 Tbsp) of the liquid. Add the strained tomatoes and the liquid. To the mixing bowl and stir all the ingredients together well.

Place in a dipping bowl and serve with veggies, or the less healthy but more convenient warmed corn tortilla chips.

Nutrient Information:
When choosing your tomatoes, be sure to pick those with the most brilliant shades of red. These indicate the highest amounts of betacarotene and lycopene. Though raw tomatoes are great for you, cooking them releases even more of the benefits.

Notes: Care should be taken in the preparation and storage of salsa, since many raw-served varieties can act as a growth medium for potentially dangerous bacteria, especially when unrefrigerated

Special Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Low Fat, High Fibre, Low Calorie

Category: Dips

Submitted By: OK In Health E-Magazine

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