Introduction: The Spice of Life: Homemade Salsa

Grocery stores stock tons of different kinds of salsa. Some hot, some mild. Some chunky, some smooth. Some green and some red. But how do you get a salsa that’s made specifically for you? A salsa that knows how to perfectly please your taste buds? You make it yourself, that’s how.

After buying a Magic Bullet, my mom and I began experimenting with all sorts of different food and ingredients. This salsa recipe came from days of trying and retrying, and I believe it is one of the best recipes we ever created. The best thing about this salsa is that you can customize it however you like. You control how much of each ingredient goes into the salsa, so you control the outcome. This is truly your salsa.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

The food:
1 14.5 oz can of peeled whole tomatoes
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (can size doesn’t matter as you need less than one pepper)
Limes (you’ll need ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, so you’ll need either 1 large lime or 2 small limes)
1 clove of garlic
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup (overflowing) of cilantro

The tools:
Can opener
Cutting board

While I use a Magic Bullet when I make my salsa, any blender will work. This recipe was just designed to perfectly fill a Magic Bullet cup.

Step 2: Tomatoes

Using your can opener, open your can of tomatoes and pour the can’s contents into the blender.

Warning: Be very careful on this step as the can lid will be very sharp after you cut it.

Holly’s Helpful Hints:
I recommend washing the top of the can before you cut it. As you cut the can, some tomato juice will get on the lid, and who knows where that lid has been.

Step 3: Chipotle Peppers

Open your can of chipotle peppers and take out one pepper. On your cutting board, cut the pepper in half and put one of the halves in the blender with the tomatoes.

Warning:  Be very careful again on this step because, like the previous step, after you open the can, the lid will be very sharp.

Holly’s Helpful Hints:
Be sure to wash this lid too because you never know who could have touched it before you.
Also, the point of the chipotle pepper is to add some spice your salsa. If you can handle the heat, add more than half. If you prefer your food milder, add a little less or no pepper at all.
You can usually find chipotle peppers in the same aisle in the grocery store as the canned tomatoes.

Step 4: Limes

On your cutting board, slice your lime into quarters. Then squeeze each quarter into your ¼ cup. Keep squeezing your limes until you have a full ¼ cup. Then pour the lime juice into your blender.

Holly’s Helpful Hints:
Cutting the limes into quarters makes it easier to squeeze and get the most juice out of every lime.
Also, I recommend washing your lime before cutting it to make sure all of the pesticides and dirt are off it.

Step 5: Garlic

Take your garlic and peel off the outer, papery layer. Then choose one of the smaller cloves, cut both ends off the clove, and peel off its outer layer until you reach the smooth, shiny skin of the clove. Put this clove in the blender.

Holly’s Helpful Hints:
The easiest way to peel garlic is with a knife. Use the sharp edge of the knife to help you fray the edges of the papery skin, and then pinch the skin with the blade and your finger and pull off the skin.
Garlic cloves have green roots inside them. They can’t hurt you, but I always think it is better to remove them. Cut your clove in half, and with the blade of the knife pull out the root.

Step 6: Salt

Grab your salt and fill up ¼ teaspoon. Then pour the salt into your blender container.

Holly’s Helpful Hints:
If you’re trying to watch your weight, use less salt. Salt makes your body store more water, which increases your weight.
Sea salt or regular salt are equally acceptable in this recipe. Use whichever you prefer!

Step 7: Cilantro

Grab a bushel of cilantro and wash it thoroughly. Cilantro commonly has dirt and (if it’s not organic) pesticides on it, so you need to make sure your cilantro is thoroughly washed. Then start pulling off the cilantro leaves. You don’t want the stalk of the cilantro, so be sure to pull off the leaves with as little stalk as possible. Fill up an overflowing ¼ cup of cilantro, and I mean really overflowing. Then empty the cup into the blender.

Holly’s Helpful Hints:
Even if you get the freshest cilantro at the store, it’s still going to have a few leaves that are black or yellow. Just discard those. You only want leaves that are a beautiful, healthy green color.

Step 8: Screw on Blade

Screw the blade onto the blender container. Make sure it’s nice and tight as to not lose any of your delicious salsa!

Step 9: Blend

Start blending. With my blender, I let it blend for anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds. It all depends on the power of your blender.

Holly’s Helpful Hints:
If you like chunky salsa, make it chunky! If you like smoother salsa, make it smooth. The less time you blend your salsa, the chunkier it is going to be.

Step 10: Eat

Take off the blender blade, grab a bag of tortilla chips, and enjoy!

Step 11: Optional

This step is completely optional. I just wanted to suggest some ingredients to make this salsa even more your own.

Holly’s Helpful Hints:
To make this salsa even more personalized, add some different flavors to it. My favorite extra ingredient to add is corn. Cut the corn right off the husk and add it to your already-blended salsa. The corn gives the salsa an added sweetness that makes this salsa even more irresistible. Frozen corn works well too. Take the bag out of the freezer, and without letting it defrost, toss some kernels in your salsa, just makes sure you don’t add a bunch of ice crystals too. I don’t recommend blending the corn because blended corn really dilutes the corn flavor.

Other ingredients to try:
Mango – Cut up fresh mango into tiny chunks and add them to your blended salsa. Or try blending the mango with the salsa. It will add that sweet, savory taste to the entire batch of salsa.
Raspberries or Blackberries – Another way to add some sweet to your spice! With either of these berries, I’d put them in before you blend your salsa. If you add them after blending, the whole berry might be too chunky since neither slices well.
Jalapenos - Try substituting jalapenos for chipotle peppers. Jalapenos are the more classic ingredient used to add spice to salsa, but they have a much stronger taste than chipotle peppers. But like I've said, it's all about the flavor you want.