Several years ago, I shared Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips with apples, strawberries, kiwi, and raspberries. The fruit was mixed with fruit preserves making a sweet fruit salsa to be served as a great appetizer or a fruity dessert. Fruit salsa is easy to make and a great party food. From a nutrition standpoint, a fruit salsa is also a much lighter, healthier alternative to usual condiments like cream sauces, barbecue sauce, and sour cream. While those are typically loaded with extra calories and added sodium and sugar, fruit salsa is brimming with nutrients like vitamin C and fiber, plus an array of disease-fighting compounds. Since most Americans don’t get their daily fill of fruits or vegetables, it’s a helpful addition to the menu. Now I’d like to share a different flavor combination of sweet with heat.
We’re in apple season, and nothing beats adding a pleasing crunch of apple to our meals. Crunchy apple salsa comes together in minutes. When you add the heat of the pepper, the onion, cilantro (or parsley), and lime juice, you have a wonderful combination of flavors. Who would have thought apples could be enjoyed in a savory way with onions and cilantro?
Although you can use any variety of apples in this recipe, most folks like sweet apples like Gala, Red Delicious, honey crisp, or Fuji. Keep the skin on the apples when you make this salsa if you use pesticide-free apples. It helps to keep the apple pieces fresh, and the bright color contrasts nicely with cilantro and purple onion. Start with your favorite sweet apple, but I suggest experimenting by trying different apples occasionally. For a different flavor, Granny Smith apples have an especially crisp texture and a lemon-like tart flavor that make this salsa unique. Pair apple salsa with grilled shrimp or chicken or spoon it into fish tacos. Or simply serve it alongside a pile of crunchy tortilla chips as a fun side or starter.
Crunchy Apple Salsa
Use organic when available. Serves 8
- 2 apples halved, cored, and diced
- 1/2 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup Anaheim chili pepper seeded and minced
- 1/2 large red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper (seeded and minced) (optional)
- 2 limes juiced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or parsley) chopped
- 1/2 tsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- In medium size bowl mix lime juice and honey
- Add apples and stir to coat
- Add onion, bell pepper, cilantro, jalapeno, and Anaheim pepper
- Toss to coat
- Add salt and pepper to taste and stir
- Cover dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes for flavors to blend
- Serve with grilled meat or tortilla chips
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