Hoda's Fresh Salsa with Pear

After my massage therapy appointment this morning, I headed for Whole Foods to replenish my veggie bins. It's a bright, warm, sunny day in Northern California...a day that calls to you to walk among the produce bins!

I had a list.. and I allow myself to add about 4-5  things depending on what looks good that day.  Well, I came back with a couple of bags full, and laid them out on the counter to figure out what I wanted to play with first.  Since the bunch of Cilantro was huge, I decided to make it the star of this morning's creation.

I love pears when they're still crisp, so I picked one of them as the co-star.

2 cups packed organic Cilantro, chopped 1 med. ripe organic Tomato, chopped 1/2 Anaheim or Poblano pepper, minced 2 Tbs. minced organic Shallot 1/2 small under-ripe pear, diced 2 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. cider vinegar 1/2 tsp. Tabasco.. or your favorite chili sauce 1/2 tsp. salt.. or to taste

Mix all veggies and pear.  In small bowl, combine lemon, vinegar, and Tabasco, stir.  Add to veggies with salt, and mix.

Enjoy with homemade whole wheat pita chips*.

* Stack three loaves of whole wheat pita bread, and slice into 8 wedges like a pizza, or into squares. Separate the tops from the bottoms and place single layers on cookie sheets.  Mist lightly with virgin olive oil, and if desired a sprinkling of organic Garlic salt.

Bake in 400º oven until lightly brown. About 4-5 minutes. Time will depend on thickness of pita bread... so watch carefully because they can burn easily.

~ Cheers!

The Antioxidant Capacity of Veggies, Fruits n' Spices

This table shows the anti-oxidant potency, ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbant-capacity) value of the listed foods.

An  intake of at least 8,500 ORAC is recommended, and yet most of us only get around 1,800 units per day.

>>  People with high oxidation levels (athletes, runners..) may need 10,000 units or more to maintain a healthy immune system.

Diet is the preferred way to increase your levels, as opposed to supplements, but most people don't seem able to fit 7 -8 servings of these fruits and vegetables a day.  That's why taking pharmaceutical-quality antioxidants is critical.  I can guide you in selecting trusted brands, and the top hitters.

Organic foods with deeper, darker colors have higher anti-oxidant levels.  Commercially raised, sprayed produce offers much less, and actually taxes your immune system.


The Antioxidant Capacity of Fruits and Vegetables


Blueberries 1 cup 3240
Cinnamon, ground ¼ tsp 2675
Pomegranate juice 5 ozs 2450
Pomegranate juice 5 ozs 2450
Blackberries 1 cup 2932
Strawberries 1 cup 2288
Figs ½ c. 2124
Oregano leaf, dried ¼ tsp. 2001
Prunes 4 pitted 1848
Pomegranate ½ pomegranate 1654
Turmeric ¼ tsp 1592
Raspberries 1 cup 1510
Brussels Sprouts 6 1236
Green Tea 1 teabag, steeped 5   mins 1200
Raisins ¼ cup 1019
Spinach, steamed ½ cup, cooked 1089
Kale ½ cup, cooked 1150
Oatbran 1/2 cup 992
Orange 1 982
Plum, dark purple 1 949
Cabbage, purple ½ cup 924
Cranberries ½ cup 831
Broccoli Florets ½ c. cooked 817
Parsley, dried ¼ tsp. 743
Beets ½ cup, cooked 715
Spinach, Raw 1 cup 678
Basil leaf, dried ¼ tsp 675
Cantaloupe ½ melon 670
Beans, baked ½ cup 640
Plum, red 1 626
Grapefruit, pink ½ 580
Pepper, Red 1 med. Pepper 540
Watermelon 1/16th,   10” diameter 501
Kiwi 1 458
Cherries 10 455
Asparagus 8 spears 900
Beans, Kidney ½ cup, cooked 400
Eggplant, with skin ½ cup, cooked 386
Onion ½ cup chopped 360
Corn ½ cup cooked 330
Yam or sweet potato ½ cup cooked 301
Pumpkin ½ cup mashed 301
Apple 1 medium 300
Peas, frozen ½ c. cooked 291
Ginger, ground ¼ tsp. 288
Banana 1 252
Applesauce ½ cup 250
Mango 1/2 cup 246
Potatoes ½ cup cooked 244
Cauliflower ½ cup cooked 234
Tomato 1 medium 233
Zucchini ½ cup, cooked 230
Pear 1 medium 222
Leaf Lettuce 10 leaves 200
Tofu ½ cup 195
Squash, yellow ½ cup, cooked 183
Grapes, red 10 177
Apricots 3 175
Carrots, cooked ½ cup 160
Tomato sauce ¼ cup 149
Avocado, Florida ½ 149
Peach 1 medium 137
Green beans ½ cup cooked 125
Melon, honeydew 1/10th 125
Lettuce, iceberg 5 large leaves 116
Carrots, raw ½ cup 115
Grapes, white 10 107
Cabbage, white ½ cup 105
Celery ½ cup, diced 60
Cucumber ½ cup, sliced 28

Low Sugar Fruits to Enjoy

I've mentioned that glucose is the choice food for cancer growth and nutrition...so watching our intake of glucose intense foods is critical. Spikes in blood sugar levels is what we are trying to avoid.  By combining high-fiber carbs that we eat with a protein or fat, lowers the likelihood.   (If you're craving a piece of toast, have it dipped in virgin olive oil, or topped with hummus or almond butter.)

Here is a list of fruits that are low in sugar that you can enjoy without thinking twice. Recommended 1 - 3 servings /day.


Choose fresh, ripe, organically grown fruits.  Frozen is OK when fresh is not available.


  • Apples
  • Bananas (on the green side, no brown specks on skin at all, otherwise high in sugar)
  • Berries (fresh not dried) (blackberries, blueberries, cherries, gooseberries, mulberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • Papaya
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Peaches (not over-ripe)
  • Plums
  • Rhubarb