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Healthy Summer Salsas
9 Great reasons to hit the sauce.
Our noses ran. Our eyes watered. Our lips burned. (Note to self. Never again test salsa when lips are chapped.) And, after sampling 88 different salsas, we learned that something that looks so good can taste so bad.
For several weeks, the We Test It crew tried salsa on chips, celery, eggs, chicken, fish, salads, and hey, even burritos to get the full-on experience of this surprisingly versatile melange of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices.
Of course, that's a description of traditional salsa. Today, manufacturers can't leave well enough alone. They've tweaked the recipe with everything from black beans to pineapple, and experimented with peppers so hot they'll blast open your sinuses and those of anyone within a 20-foot radius. Sometimes the tinkering is successful. The top-rated salsa in our test was Newman's Own Black Bean & Corn Salsa, which was so tasty that an entire case disappeared like bottled water at a salsa tasting (that's fast, trust us).
But more times than we cared to count, meddling with tradition produced an abject failure. Some salsas tasted pretty foul, and premarket testing should have eliminated the "is this ketchup with corn in it?" factor that summed up several brands.
Fortunately, nine sauces earned rave reviews for their fresh, savory taste and perfect texture. And the health angle? Most salsas are only 80 calories a cup, and the tomato-based versions are loaded with lycopene, a plant chemical linked to lower risks of cancer and heart disease. You say tomato, we say miracle drug. So go for a dip already. -Denise Foley; reporting by Tanya Beers
BEST ORGANIC SALSA:
Amy's Fire Roasted Vegetable Medium Salsa
Char-grilled organic onions andgreen bell peppers combined with tomatoes, garlic, and spices.
"Chunky, authentic roasted flavor right off the grill," said a veggie lover. Use it to give a garden or turkey burger some extra flavor.
Serving size: 2 Tbsp; 10 cal, Og pro, 3g carb, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, Omg chol, Og fiber, 200mg sodium, lg sugar