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It's Salsa Season!

Even though the summer season is coming to an end, the heat is persistent. Warm summer days can be welcoming to some and a nuisance for others. Here in Iowa, it seems like the days get hotter and hotter until suddenly, snow starts falling!

I would do anything to get my hands on a refreshing snack or drink during the hot summer days. My go to? Salsa.

What’s the rave?

The reason I love salsa is that it’s not just a condiment- it can be an afternoon snack, lunch ingredient, or dipping sauce for your favorite chips. The real reason I love salsa so much is- eating it can help people consume more vegetables.

Think about it! Salsa is composed of tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and spices all blended together. Instead of eating boring salads, or letting that eggplant go to waste in the back of your refrigerator, you can eat salsa to boost your veggie intake while enjoying it, too.

If you are not a fan of salsa by itself, there are ways to incorporate this condiment in recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For example, shakshuka is a breakfast dish composed of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, and spices. Sounds familiar? Try this recipe by The Foreign Fork, which uses salsa in place of simmering tomatoes as a hack to simplify this North-African dish.

For lunch or dinner, throw a generous dollop of salsa in your favorite soup or chili to liven up the dish. The tomatoes, onions, and spices add a hearty flavor and depth to your favorite foods. If you don’t like the added texture, try blending it up! The possibilities are truly endless.


In the Midwest, tomatoes are ready to harvest anytime in mid-summer through the first frost. What this means for most people is that tomatoes, the main ingredient in salsa, are incredibly affordable. I mean very, very affordable. This also goes for tomato products like ketchup, tomato sauce, and canned tomatoes.

If you have a green thumb, you may even have a small garden, grow bag, or community garden plot already with tomatoes for picking. If you’re adventurous, try making your own salsa! There are so many amazing recipes to choose from, but I love this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

Nutrient-rich Salsa

Tomatoes, the base of salsa, are an incredible food to add to your weekly shopping list. Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, antioxidants, fiber, and water.

  • Vitamin A can improve your eye health, boost your immunity, and aid in growth and development.

  • Antioxidants can help reduce damage from damage to body tissues.

  • Eating a high-fiber diet can help aid digestion which boosts overall health and well-being.

Onions belong to a family of plants called alliums. Garlic and leeks are also a part of this plant family. This study found eating foods in the allium family can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia (elevated levels of fat in the blood).

You can tell how nutritious peppers are just by looking at their vibrant colors! They are particularly high in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, and a myriad of antioxidants. This combination can reduce the risk for disease and improve overall health.

There are many reasons tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers are great for your health. Let this be your sign to get more veggies in your diet. But…it’s not like you need an excuse to eat chips and salsa, right? Dig in and enjoy!

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