Has me hopelessly addicted.
Since I noticed fresh apricots in the store 2 weeks ago, I’ve made it no less than 4 times.
The first batch I made, I couldn’t stop eating. First off, because the flavor is so unusually wonderful, but secondly, because it was so flippin hot that I couldn’t stop or my mouth would combust. No worries! I’m going to solve that problem, even for kids!
Recently Produce for Kids asked me to feature a recipe featuring fresh produce in the Get Healthy, Give Hope campaign which will raise money for Homeland’s designated local charity – the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food for Kids Backpack Program.
Oh, THIS is something I believe in, I thought and was so excited to help. I wish I could go back in time and build healthier habits in my kiddos. It’s not too late, and I’m converting them every day to yummy and fresh recipes (as we speak). Kids love salsa in Mexican restuarants here, at least Oklahoma kiddos do, so I thought I’d scale the heat down and use this for inspiration.
Since 2011, Homeland has raised nearly $60,000 for local children’s organizations. Homeland is one of nine retailers participating in the national campaign, which is expected to pass $5 million in overall contributions in 2014! To help Homeland increase its donation, shoppers are encouraged from June 1 through 30 to add more produce to their grocery carts. All participating fruit and vegetable suppliers will make a consumption-based donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
If you have kids, or know someone who needs healthy cooking/buying options for their kids, please follow them on the following social media sites or share these with your loved ones!
One thing I would encourage parents to do is to “buy seasonal”.
What does this mean, exactly? I mean you hear it all the time. Simply put, it means if asparagus is on sale in the spring -BUY IT! This helps your budget but also encourages you to try new produce and recipes for them all the time.
This week I saw apricots and something clicked in my mind. A salsa recipe that we absolutely LOVE that was created by Chef Ryan Parrott here in Oklahoma City when he was the chef at Iguana Grill. Ryan tweeted this recipe once upon a time, which I missed, but when I begged him for it, he generously accepted and told me it is not a deep dark secret so I wanted to share.
Apricots are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They are also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C so make the mild version of this salsa and your little ones will scoop it up with joy because the flavors are outstanding. I will offer the original (very hot) rendition of this salsa ..and, shall I say “the weenie” variation for kiddos and adults alike who can’t handle the heat.
Start off with 2 cups of halved apricots. The beauty of many salsas are that you toss all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse them giving you fresh and delicious salsa in all of two whole minutes.
This is one of those recipes.
Slice apricots (no need to peel) in half until you can throw them into a 2 cup measuring cup and fill it.
The first time I made it, the large apricots I had only required 4 1/2 apricots to fulfill this requirement, but the second time, I got smaller ones…much smaller, and it took eight, so you’ll have to go with what you buy.
Next up, you’ll need two tomatillos. Tomatillos look like a green tomato and are covered in a papery husk that has to be removed. They lend a tart and slightly spicy flavor to anything they are cooked for and are wonderful. They are also a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Niacin, Potassium and Manganese.
To prep them, simply pull off the husk and then give them a rinse, because for some reason, they have a sticky residue on them when you do.
Cut these in fourths and along with the apricots, add them into your food processor bowl.
Now, if you are making this for kids, please look away.
The next ingredient?
Two habanero peppers.
Please in the name of all that is right and good use precautions when using these babies. I keep a box of beautician rubber gloves under my sink for just such a evil ingredient as this. I learned when putting my contacts in, you should ALWAYS do this, without fail. Well, you know, if you want to have sight for the rest of your life and all.
I cut these open and removed the stems and ribs, but if you are one of those people who can eat lit fire, go ahead and leave them in.
If you’re making this for kids, use 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper with the stems and ribs removed. It’ll lend a bit of spice but nothing too drastic.
You’ll need two tablespoons of cilantro but I just grabbed a small hunk of leaves and threw them in. Also add in 1/2 of a red onion roughly chunked.
Add 1/2 cup orange juice and a tablespoon each of salt and pepper (the second batch, I reduced the salt by 1/2).
Then just hit pulse on your food processor until it looks kind of chunky, but is pureed somewhat.
Then eat and enjoy….and keep eating…
Because it’s addictive.
Pour it over chicken or fish or shrimp.
It’s SO addictive.