It’s Labour Day Weekend this weekend which means it’s time for a few of my favourite things: some of my best gal pals, some delicious homemade eats and a splash (or two) of organic red wine. That’s right, this Saturday is girls night in. No boys allowed!
And while I love the laughter, the chick-flicks and of course the wine, nothing says girls night like finger foods. They’re easy to make, easy to consume and they pair with almost anything. I’m a sucker for finger foods but there’s no more popular finger food than my favourite coffee table staple: tortilla chips and salsa. A party just isn’t a party without it, right? Well…
Unfortunately, even on girls nights I find it hard to take off my nutritionist’s hat. Conventional tortilla chips typically use genetically modified corn and plenty of sodium and canola oil so I always reach for organic alternatives. On the salsa side, store-bought brands are usually filled with artificial flavourings, colourings (like caramel colouring — gross!) and of course preservatives. Because I want to ensure that I’m getting the cleanest and most delicious salsa dish, I always opt to make my own.
This minty green mango salsa recipe was inspired by my steamy summer in California and is the perfect salut to the last long weekend of this summer season. Instead of a traditional tomato base, I opt for the succulent mango fruit as it adds the perfect touch of sweetness and hydration. I also add a little nutritional zing in the form of my current favourite herb: fresh peppermint. I’m in love with peppermint right now and have been adding it to my spring water as well as my juices and smoothies. And I love it not just for its taste but also its drool-worthy health benefits:
- Digestive-aid — Peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach and improves the flow of bile, which the body uses to digest fats allowing food to move through the stomach more quickly. Studies have shown that peppermint, more specifically peppermint oil, can actually help relieve the symptoms of inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) including pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea. However, be careful as peppermint isn’t for everyone! For those who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or severe heartburn, peppermint can actually aggravate symptoms in which case enteric-coated capsules are recommended as they keep the peppermint oil from being released in the stomach and instead allow it be released in the intestines.
- Decongestant — The strong aroma of mint is highly effective in clearing up congestion of the nose, throat, bronchi and lungs providing relief for respiratory disorders that often result from asthma or the common cold by reducing upper respiratory irritation.
- Headache-relief — The aroma of peppermint leaves or oil has also been shown to reduce headache pain. In fact, my current go-to natural headache remedy includes a few drops of peppermint oil in a carrier oil like jojoba which I use to gently massage my temples whenever I feel a headache coming on. Peppermint also works to relax blood vessels and reduces inflammation providing additional relief.
Enjoy this minty green mango salsa with your favourite organic tortilla chips or if you’re sensitive to corn, try some flax or quinoa alternatives, gluten-free crackers or simply slice up some cucumbers for an extra hydrating snack.
Happy Long Weekend!
- 1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 fresh mango, pitted, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 avocados, pitted and chopped
- 1 roma tomato, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
- 10 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
- Fresh juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- ½ tsp maple syrup
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Combine salsa ingredients and gently toss in a medium-sized bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk dressing ingredients then pour over salsa.
- Toss until evenly distributed.
- Serve immediately with your favourite organic tortilla chips or gluten-free crackers.