To add to the list of the many things we love about summer - we love fresh, local produce! In locations with four seasons, like Chicago, summer is the best time to find local produce. We love how you can track the time passing with which fruit or vegetable is at the farmers market each week. Speaking of farmers markets we hope you've checked out your local market by now and if not it's time to get there! Berries have been ripe for the picking and that's why we chose a strawberry salsa recipe this week.
The reasons we are so excited about local produce are many - the most pronounced being the taste. Local produce is picked when it's the ripest and available for purchase soon after. Unlike during colder months when fruits and vegetables are picked early and then travel hundreds of miles to the local store. You can imagine that this process is not optimal for taste but also affects nutrient quality. Produce that is picked prior to optimal ripeness and likely weeks prior to consumption are more likely to loose valuable nutrients during this time. And if you're being good about eating your fruits and vegetables you should be getting the most benefit possible! For strawberries we recommend looking for organic because strawberries are known to contain high levels of pesticide residue when produced conventionally. The other produce we are using for this salsa, jicama, you likely won't find local as it is native to Central America. We like the uniqueness of this root vegetable - it has a very mild taste and crunchy texture. You may have never noticed it in stores but we find it easily available at local grocery stores. If you can't find it, or want to be 100% local, cucumber would be a great substitute for this recipe. Finally, a hint about our chips. We enjoyed this salsa with tortilla chips from Late July Organic Snacks. Unlike other commercial chip brands that contain GMO corn and unfavorable oil such as canola and soybean, Late July products are organic, non-GMO, and often contain some of our favorite ingredients such as chia seeds, flax seeds and quinoa.
Strawberry Patch Salsa
PREP TIME: 15 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
Yield: ~4 cups salsa
1 pint organic strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup jicama, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp jalapeño, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp salt
Wash and rinse strawberries and jicama. Evenly chop strawberries and jicama and place in a mixing bowl. Finely chop red onion, garlic, and jalapeño and combine with strawberries and jicama. After rinsing cilantro, fold a large handful of stems in half and chop starting from the top (as pictured above) - you will chop both leaves and some stem but this is much easier that removing the leaves one by one. Add the juice of 1/2 lime and sea salt. Stir to combine. We thought the flavor of this salsa was perfect after we let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Dip your favorite chip or use any way that you would standard salsa.
We recommend this salsa during strawberry season so get on this one quick! The weeks fly by quick during the summer and the next time you hit the market something else will probably be in season. Get creative this season buy whichever produce looks the best and have fun creating your own seasonal recipes.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.