There are probably very few people in the United States who haven’t sat down at a table at a Mexican restaurant and scarfed down some salsa with warm tortilla chips. But there’s a lot to this simple snack food you probably don’t know about:
- Salsa Is a Dieter’s Dream
Salsa is extremely low in calories, making it an excellent snacking option for people are trying to diet. Depending on the type of salsa (and whether any sugar has been added to it), salsa has somewhere between 10 and 40 calories per 2-tablespoon serving.
The calories can add up, however, if you add half a bag of tortilla chips. If you’re serious about dieting, try dipping veggies in your salsa, or portioning out a limited number of baked tortilla chips.
- There Are Many Different Types of Salsa
There are many different types of salsa, and not all even feature the roasted and blended ingredients you’re probably most used to. If you’re looking to switch up your salsa routine, consider a salsa verde (which usually has a bright flavor using tomatillos) or a Southwestern salsa (which usually includes beans and corn for a heartier taste). There are even fruit salsas, which combine sweet, spicy and smoky flavors.
If you’re looking for how to make authentic Mexican salsa, a good place to start is with pico de gallo salsa dips. This type of fresh salsa uses raw tomato and onion, spiced up with peppers, lime juice, cilantro and salt.
- Salsa Isn’t Just for Dipping
While Americans tend to choose a classic mild salsa dip that pairs easily with a bag of crunchy tortilla chips, more authentic salsa is intended for use in recipes. The roasted peppers in salsa should provide a punch or brightness on a plate of food, according to top Mexican chefs, and should be used as a spicy condiment.
There are many recipes using salsa, and it’s fine to start with your regular mild salsa if you’re nervous about turning up the heat. The use of salsa in recipes also pairs nicely with its dieting benefits, since salsa can be used to add intense flavor to a dish without adding very many calories.
Of all the different types of salsa, which is your favorite?