Too much salt. That’s often the problem with salsa. Your best bet? Look for no more than 130 milligrams of sodium per two-tablespoon serving.
But most salsas—especially your run-of-the mill ones that come in jars and typically have a base of tomato paste or purée—have much more than that.
Solution: try salsa fresca or pico de gallo. That’s Spanish for fresh (refrigerated) salsa, which is mostly diced tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and salt. (Some companies add corn or beans.) You get less salt and more flavor. Many stores carry their own brand of refrigerated fresh salsa. If you can’t find any, try one of our Best Bite (no more than 130 mg of sodium in 2 Tbs.) national brand faves:
- Trader Joe’s Pico de Gallo. If you like it hot, you’ve got a Best Bite (115 mg of sodium). The mild version is a near miss (140 mg).
- Wholly Guacamole. The Avocado Verde—it just misses a Best Bite—is more like a (delicious) avocado salsa than a guacamole. It has more tomatillo than avocado, which cuts the calories in two tablespoons from 50 or 60 to 25.
- Newman’s Own. If you want a jarred salsa and you’re not a heatnik, try Newman’s Own Mild or Medium. If you can take some fire, go with Green Mountain Gringo Roasted Chile Pepper, our taste favorite.
Click here to view our full chart of salsas.
Or try making your own. Here’s a quick and simple recipe for fresh salsa from The Healthy Cook, Kate Sherwood.
1 pint cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped white onion
¼ cup cilantro sprigs
1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 Tbs. lime juice
½ tsp. kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until uniformly minced. Makes 1 2/3 cups.
Per 2 Tbs: 5 calories, 75 mg sodium
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