When I eat healthy I limit the amount of fat, sodium and sugar in my diet. In order to avoid having my food taste bland, I use vegetables and fruits to add flavor. There are so many fruits and vegetables we can use to make our food taste delicious and healthy.
One of my favorite things to make is salsa. I've been eating salsa since I was a kid and I'm lucky that my mom makes the best salsa. Check out my salsa recipe and suggestions below:
What will I need to make salsa?
Ingredients: Tomatoes, peppers, water and salt.
Kitchen supplies: A blender or a molcajete (mortar and pestle).
Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin C.
How can I make my salsa spicy?
Thai peppers are very spicy and packed with flavor, so if you want some spicy salsa add a small handful.
Top row : Serrano Chili Pepper, Jalapenos. Bottom row: Thai Peppers, Dried Abrol Peppers.
How can I make a mild salsa?
Jalapeños tend to be the least spicy. Experiment by adding a few when you make your salsa. Once you build a tolerance, add more peppers.
What if my salsa is too spicy?
Add another tomato or water to reduce spiciness.
How can I make green/red salsa?
If you want to make your salsa red, use tomatoes and dried Chile de Abrol.
If you want to make your salsa green, use tomatillos (they look like small green tomatoes) and green peppers.
You can use tomatoes to make green salsa: just reduce the number of tomatoes and increase the number of green peppers.
Do you have a recipe I can try?
Yes! Here is a quick and easy recipe that I made in less than 8 minutes:
Ingredients:3 tomatoes, 6 grilled jalapeños, water and garlic salt.
I typically grill the tomatoes and jalapeños and add warm water when I make salsa.
Note: If you blend the tomatoes and jalapeños raw it will taste different. If you decide not to grill them, just heat up the finished salsa in a pan.
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USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack proclaimed August 2-8, 2015, National Farmers Market Week. Here in the Central Valley local farmers' markets are selling many delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables. To celebrate the week, we visited The Market on Kern and Manchester Center Farmers' Market to ask shoppers why they shopped at local farmers' markets. What we found were affordable prices, a since of community and some of the best looking produce around.
What brings families to the markets?
Yolanda was on a mission to find out. The answer? They came for a variety of reasons, from freshness to cost.
An Abundance of Affordable Produce Available
What a Great Week!
We weren't able to make it to all of the local markets in the Central Valley this week, but feel lucky to have so many nearby. We often refer our class participants to local markets to encourage them to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their meals and snacks. To locate a market near you, use this directory.
For some of our favorite produce recipes, visit the USDA's What's Cooking website.
- Author: Nelly Carrillo
The summer months mean hungry little ones searching the kitchen for something healthy to eat. Here are a few affordable and healthy options to keep on hand for an easy snack when your kids get the munchies!
Kitchen Pantry Summer Essentials for Kids:
- Tomato Sauce-low sodium: great for a healthy home made pizza or pasta dish.
- Canned Fruit packed in water or 100% juice: pineapple chunks, peaches, or mixed fruit.
- Canned Vegetables: sweet corn, mixed veggies, chili beans, green beans.
- Baked tortilla chips with fresh salsa.
- Chicken or Chunk Light Tuna in water.
- Whole grain bagels, pita bread, whole grain bread, whole grain hot dog or hamburger buns.
- Reduced fat peanut butter.
Protein and Dairy Options
- Reduced Fat or Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
- Turkey Deli meat – Low Sodium
- Turkey Hot Dog Links
- Low-Fat Milk
- Turkey Pepperoni
- Boiled eggs (pre-cook and leave in refrigerator for children to enjoy)
- Low-Fat fruit flavored yogurt
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
Have plenty of seasonal produce on hand, washed and ready to use.
Tip: Ask your children what are some of their favorite fruits & veggies.
My healthy plate is an excellent guide that helps us to think of different foods. For more ideas, visit www.choosemyplate.gov
- Author: Nath Say
The UC CalFresh team participated in the SPARK Early Childhood Training at the Merced County Department of Public Health on Thursday, July 30, 2015, and it was a hit!
What is SPARK? "SPARK is a research-based, public organization dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness. The program strives to improve the health of children, adolescents, and adults by disseminating evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Healthy programs to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through 12th grade students."
Participants who attended the interactive training engaged in many different physical activities such as dancing, moving like animals and tossing the parachute. Most activities included music and encouraged teachers to always involve every student in the classroom.
SPARK's enthusiastic trainer, Ken McFadden, has been an educator for 49 years. His expertise plays an instrumental role in training teachers on how to implement fun physical activities throughout the school day. He did a great job suggesting different classroom management skills we could use in our instruction.
SPARK introduces many ways to incorporate different games with the traditional parachute. Mr. McFadden showed participants a game called "Class Portrait" where students get a good laugh at seeing only their classmate's "head shot" of the portrait from under the parachute.
We were excited to see that a couple of our teachers from Fresno Unified also attended the training. Mrs. Maria Zamora (right), pictured with Nutrition Coordinator Nath Say, is a Pre-K teacher at Rowell Elementary School. She looks forward to incorporating what she's learned inside her classroom! Mrs. Trujillo from Leavenworth elementary also attended but is not pictured.
Special thanks to Champions for Change, the California Department of Public Health's Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch, and our trainer, Ken McFadden for putting together a great workshop! The UC CalFresh program is excited to receive new resources that we may use alongside our curricula.
During my recent visit to the Children's Corner preschool in Firebaugh I received a surprise!!! They were working on their new garden! According to Christy Trujillo, they received funding through a garden grant from Fresno City College. They were one of the five sites chosen. I am so proud of them!
"It has been a great experience for the children and teachers", says Christy.
The children and teachers are growing pumpkins, watermelons, strawberries, carrots, sweet peppers and tomatoes. Soon Children's Corner students will be tasting fresh and delicious vegetables and fruits.
What plant part is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.