Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FODMAPs friendly salsa

For my 23rd birthday the boy gave me a Mexican cookbook. I really love Mexican food, but the cookbook really only yielded a few things that really helped my cooking. It was a book from the US and suggested I got to my local Hispanic market to pick up the ingredients I needed.

Considering it was 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, that really wasn't an option. But what it did give me was an appreciation for some of the spice mixes that go well together to create a Mexican meal. 

Now a normal salsa contains onion and garlic, both of which are no goes on the FODMAPs diet. I have found onion especially bad for me. So I haven't been able to enjoy salsa from a jar for a good long while now. 

Here is what I do to make my own, delicious, salsa that I love possibly even more than the stuff you buy. The great news is too, that it's cheap, easy and makes lots so you can freeze some for later.


1 500g tin of chopped tomatoes or about 6 medium tomatoes chopped
a generous glug of garlic oil
1 small tin (150g) of corn* 
2 capsicums/bell peppers diced
half a 400g jar of tomato paste, but feel free to approximate

*corn is moderate in FODMAPs, but fortunately the quantity used in this salsa means that it has been fine for me. 

spices and seasoning:

1 glug of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt, or to taste
2-3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tsp cumin
1 bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro

other stuff it's useful to have

Some clean glass jars with lids. I just collect the jars of tomato paste and jam and other such things and have them on hand.
A saucepan. 
Wooden spoon, known in our house as a foon because TWO can't say 'sp' properly and it comes out as f. 

how you do it (with pictures!)

Put your garlic oil and tomatoes in the saucepan, with your tomato paste underneath.

garlic oil added

Add the corn.


And the spices/seasoning (without the coriander/cilantro).


And don't forget those chopped peppers/capsicum.


Give it a good stir and simmer on a low to medium heat for a good long while. The longer the better. I am inclined to leave it for 2-3 hours if I have the time available.

Then don't forget to add the chopped coriander/cilantro.


Continue cooking until it looks a bit like this :

salsa done

My best advice is to now taste test the salsa. Does it need more salt? More sugar? Could it do with a touch more tomato paste? Make sure it tastes the way you want it to before you put it away or use it. 

Now get your clean jars and fill them up with yummy salsa. Here's one I prepared earlier. 

salsa in a jar!

I generally freeze those I don't plan on using straight away. I haven't bothered to sterilise the jars in the past because I find that we use a good amount of the salsa fast enough that just having them clean doesn't lead to problems. 

Due to the fact that this salsa doesn't have preservatives added, I find that once opened I need to eat this stuff relatively quickly before mould takes up residence. A few days preferrably. And I also always check it for mould. But I do that with any opened jar of salsa in our fridge. Well, I would do, if we had any commercial stuff in there anymore. 

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