avocado salad

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Avocado Salad is a fairly simple typical classical African salad made using simple ingredients like cabbage, apple and avocados to create a nutrient rich, light tasty salad.  It forms a great accompaniment to any meal or may be consumed as a self-contained meal in itself. Not only is it easy to prepare but also a quick fix that can be made ready in minutes. 

 

Ingredients and Preparation

 

This healthy salad allows great flexibility in terms of the different ingredients that can be used in its preparation. The basic salad recipe can be modified with additional health promoting constituents.

 

Avocados, Cabbage, onions, apple, peanuts, and yoghurt are the major ingredients required to make this salad. The procedure is simply mixing together of the ingredients; dressing with yoghurt and fresh herbs like dill and mint, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and topping with roasted peanuts. 

 

Variants-

 

Another classic variation of the Avocado salad is the Avocado and Citrus fruit salad in which orange, grapefruit or sweet limes may be used in combination with the avocado. For an exceptional salad, a combination of sliced avocado, oranges and fresh mint seasoned with fennel and orange zest would create a flavourful citrusy avocado salad. 

 

Nutrition Information

 

• Research has revealed how avocados are packed with various carotenoids – alpha and beta carotenes, lutein, and several xanthins that are the key factors responsible for the anti-inflammatory responses exhibited by this fruit. 

• The common belief is that avocado or ‘butter fruit’ is high in fat. However, these are mostly healthy fats that provide benefits to the human body.  

 

1. Phytosterols that account for a major portion of the fat content include beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol, which are key factors in keeping inflammation under control. Thus the Avocado Salad proves to be a healthy option for persons with arthritis and other acute or chronic inflammatory disorders. 

2. Avocado's polyhydroxylated fatty alcohol compunds or PFAs also offer anti-inflammatory benefits. 

3. Last but not the least, it is the high amount of monounsaturated fatty acid -oleic acid that helps in transportation of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids, and has the potential to lower heart disease risk.

 

A single serving of the African Avocado Salad of about 4 ounces (~115 g) provides-

• Total of 130 calories with 45 calories from fat. 

• Total fat content of 5 g with saturated fat of 1 g. 

• Total carbohydrate content of 21 g with 3.0 g of soluble dietary fibre and sugar content of 2 g, remainder being all other carbohydrates constituents. 

• Negligible cholesterol content.

• Sodium content of 280 mg

• Total protein content of 1.0 g.

 

Suggested Accompaniment

 

A glass of orange juice/fresh lime soda or tomato juice would be a good accompaniment to this subtle, delicately flavoured appetizer.

 

Nutritional Enhancement

 

1. Addition of tomatoes, either whole chopped, or cherry tomatoes would increase the antioxidant value by adding lycopene which has anti-cancer properties as documented in numerous studies. It is also a good source of Alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E), B-vitamins, folate, minerals like magnesium, copper, phosphorus and potassium as well as dietary fibre and Vitamins A, C, K .

2. Use of chopped walnut bits would help add unsaturated fats such as the omega-3 fatty acids to salad along with proteins and a host of important minerals like Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins like B-vitamins and Vitamin E. Certain phytochemicals like polyphenolic compounds, ellagic acid, carotenoids etc., protect against aging, inflammation, neurological disorders and even different cancers.

3. Boiled egg white, as tiny cubes or strips, can be added owing to the high quality amino acids that they supply. They also supply a significant amount of potassium, with moderate levels of magnesium and phosphorus that promote better cardiac performance and maintain bone health. Since they are gluten free, eggs can be used to prepare the avocado salad for gluten-intolerant individuals. 

4. Tuna or pieces of salmon, trout may be used to enhance valuable omega-3 fatty acid value of the dish that has important nervous system, heart and brain protective functions.