You know that throwback Will Smith song “Summertime?” That’s what this healthy peach mango salsa is in food form. It came on the radio the other day and I was seriously bumpin’ in my Prius. Can you picture it? Actually, maybe don’t try.
Anyway! With summer in full swing, I’m all about food that fits the following criteria—seasonal, vibrant, and super quick to prepare. I don’t know about your schedule but mine has been busier than usual with vacations, beach picnics, and impromptu grill outs. You know, the good stuff. So while I realize that when it comes to salsa (and most condiments), grabbing a jar off the shelf at your local market is often easier than making your own, I promise that this recipe is only one step more complicated.
OK maybe two because you do have to peel and dice a mango.
First world problems are really the worst.
I actually peeled my first mango to make this salsa (thank you YouTube for your endless tutorials) so I am confident you can do it, too. And there’s always the option of buying pre-sliced mango wedges if you prefer to skip that part (but don’t because it’s secretly really fun to pluck the little cubes off the mango skin).
Salsa is one of my favorite condiments because it instantly makes me feel like I’m on a Mexican holiday someplace. I mean it is the gold standard party appetizer—festive and never disappointing—isn’t it? Light, fresh, delicious, and full of nutrients, salsa is a sneaky way to add a bit more vegetables to your plate. As you know, I’m all about adding as many sources of vegetables to my meal as possible.
Salsa, I love you
When it comes to salsa, I don’t discriminate. I love all types—chunky tomato garlic, pico de gallo, roasted chile, spicy verde, black bean and corn, chimichurri—but my favorite by far is peach mango. If there was an unofficial salsa of summer, it would be this one.
In addition to peaches and mangoes, I add red bell peppers and red onions to give it a bit of crunch, as well as diced cherry tomatoes. A squeeze of fresh lime brightens the whole thing up. Personally, I crave the intensity of a really spicy salsa—the kind that sets your taste buds ablaze—but I acknowledge it’s not for everyone. If you prefer your salsa more on the mild side, take care to remove all the seeds from the jalapeños before adding them or simply omit them altogether.
Then there’s the whole cilantro debate. Do you love it or hate it? I used to strongly dislike it. But lately I have found it to be less intolerable. Known as the Mexican parsley, cilantro’s unique flavor is attributed its anise-like leaves, which can have a soapy taste to some people. However, I’ve found that the more often you eat it, the less repugnant it will taste. I’m not advocating for eating something if it totally offends you but cilantro does have potential medicinal benefits like helping the body detoxify from heavy metals, regulating energy, and aiding in digestion. So maybe don’t write it off entirely.
This is also the perfect time prepare this healthy peach mango salsa because we are right in the middle of stone fruit season. True story—I literally learned what a stone fruit was last year. I know. The horror. I have always been a stone fruit eating champ, I just never knew that’s what they were called. Stone fruits have a giant, hard pit in the center instead of multiple smaller seeds like other summer fruits. Cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines…All stone fruits!
If you’ve been disappointed by mediocre grocery store stone fruits recently, you’re not alone. Sales for peaches have flat for the last 20 years and consumers cite reasons like “flavorless,” “too sweet,” “too mealy,” “mushiness,” and “overly ripe” as reasons for why their not buying. So what happened? Big agriculture that’s what.
Today, most of the peaches and plums that you find in a conventional market were picked way before they were ripe to make them more durable to withstand long transport times. The problem is that stone fruits’ internal temperature has to be kept above 50 degrees Fahrenheit or it can experience a chilling injury, which renders it mealy, mushy, overly ripe, or not ripe at all. The best way to avoid this is to pick a peach based not on the color of its blush (the pinkish reddish hue), rather by its base color.
A ripe peach or nectarine will have a white or cream background with no trace of green. It should be slightly soft to the touch—when you press it, there should be some give but not too much. Be careful not to go bruising all the peaches though! Still you all know the best way to ensure the perfectly ripe peach? BUY LOCAL—directly from a farmer or orchard. Bonus points if you live someplace with roadside produce stands or carts. Man, those things make my heart so happy.
For this healthy peach mango salsa, I recommend leaving the skin on the peaches. You could peel it but you’d be removing one of the most nutritious parts of the fruit. Since you’ll be eating the skin, make sure to buy organic if possible!
This peach mango salsa pairs oh-so perfectly with grilled salmon, veggie burgers, wild cod or tilapia, fish tacos, Mexican black bean and rice bowls, grilled chicken, or stirred into quinoa (the best). The subtle sweetness from the fruit plus the kick from jalapeños gets me every time. Then there’s the acidic tang of the lime. It’s legit. I used to get my peach mango salsa store bought, back in the day when I feared anything cooking that involved more than opening a package (hey, I’ve come a long way) but now that I’ve made my own, I have become a bit of a salsa snob and once you make this recipe you probably will, too.
// RECIPE //
Peach Mango Salsa
Yield: ~3 cups | Prep time: 10 minutes
3 peaches, washed
1 mango, cubed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
2 jalapeños, diced
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp coconut or avocado oil (for sauteeing the pepper and onion)
3 tbs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Chop and dice all ingredients as described in the ingredient list.
- In a small sauté pan with 1 tsp coconut or avocado oil, cook red onion and bell pepper until slightly soft and the onions are nearly translucent (about 5 minutes). You still want the vegetables to be crisp just not totally raw! Refrigerate until chilled.
- Combine fruit, jalapeno, and vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Stir in cilantro.
- Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!
You can add 1-2 tsp raw local honey if you like, but I think this salsa is sweet enough on its own. Give it a taste and adjust, as the pineapple alone lends a lot of sugar! Oh and if you want to eat this salsa straight up by the spoonful, you’re not alone. Try add in some diced avocado, as the fat will help stabilize your blood sugar and increase satiety.
I ate this salsa on top of a fresh made salmon cake (as in fresh salmon not canned—shudder) that I’ll be sharing on the blog in a few weeks. So stay tuned for that one—it’s worth the wait. In the meantime, you can find more of my favorite healthy summer eats over on Athleta’s Chi Blog. Every week in July, I’m sharing a new recipe including simple grilled baby artichokes, fruit infused ice cubes, grilled zucchini ribbons with mint, and charred red pepper hummus. YUM. All are perfect to pack on a picnic or take to a barbecue.
What are your vacation plans this summer? Any exciting travel plans? We are going to Tahoe for the first time in a few weeks and I am SO excited. It’s crazy that we have lived in Northern California for three years but still haven’t gone. I desperately need some time to rest and rejuvenate in nature—hiking, reading by the lake, and hopefully stand-up paddle boarding. Have you been to Tahoe? What are your top recs for things to do and see? Please comment below—I’d love to know!
Next week, I have a special surprise guest Q&A that I know you’re going to love and of course there will be another healthy recipe so until Tuesday my friends! As always thank you so much for reading and supporting this blog with all your positive vibes and kind words. You guys are the best.