Festive Fruit and Ginger Salsa
(Vegan; no citrus, cane sugar, dairy, gluten, legumes or nightshades)
Profuse with colour, sweet and tangy flavours, this is an ideal partner for a rice or Asian noodle dish, curry, barbeque, grilled or smoked fish. Look in health stores for pickled ginger that is prettily pink without artificial colours.
Enjoy raw plant foods each day for their higher vitamin C (for healthy gums, veins and arteries), folic acid (lessens risk of dementia and cancer), and enzyme levels. The body produces enzymes, and you can obtain some directly from food but they are destroyed at just 48oC. Digestive enzymes are necessary for the complete breakdown of food or you will experience gas, bloating, fatigue, poor liver and bowel function.
Top sources of enzymes are raw forms only of pineapple, pawpaw, mango, kiwifruit, fig, banana, avocado, sprouts (from beans, grains or nuts), unheated honey, bee pollen, as well as raw meat and fish such as in carpaccio and sashimi. Most traditional diets include enzyme rich raw foods, or those produced by natural fermentation or culturing. The latter is especially important if the cuisine predominantly uses cooked food – the Japanese diet is an example. Beneficial fermented or cultured foods include non-pasteurised forms of: soy sauce, miso (Japanese soybean paste that looks like marmite), kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage), fish sauce, sauerkraut and yoghurt.
Poor digestion can lead to seemingly unrelated health problems. More than 70% of the immune system is positioned along the gut wall. Any inadequately broken down food particles can trigger an immune response, which views these rogue fractions as dangerous invaders. The gut wall becomes inflamed (leading to the likes of IBS), and the immune system either fatigued (with poor resistance to pathogens), or excessively aggressive (developing auto-immune disorders). The inflammatory consequences may also be felt in distant, already weakened areas, perhaps in the form of eczema, arthritis or headaches. To understand the process and how it can be resolved see the GOOD HEALTH SOLUTIONS’ report: How To Thwart Fungal, Yeast, Viral, Bacterial and Parasitic Invaders – and Build Strong Immunity.
Regularly including raw food needn’t mean always preparing elaborate salads. For instance, on a serving platter or on the side of the plate, supplement your meal with the likes of glistening come-hither slices of mango and avocado – simple and stunning. Or accompany cooked food with the tangy percussion of enzyme-rich condiments, or dressings and toppings made from them.
People who are sugar-sensitive and with up-and-down vitality levels (especially true of the ENTHUSIAST and ANALYSER body-types; see The Shape Diet) may need to be careful with fruit. By including fruit in a salad or salsa, served with ample protein and some fat – vinegar helps too – they may find this a sufficient regulator for steady and sustained blood sugar levels.
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint, fennel, Thai basil, dill, coriander or Vietnamese
2 Tbsp pickled ginger*
1 Tbsp pickled ginger juice*
1 tsp sea salt with kelp*
½ small, firm ripe pineapple, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 large banana, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
¼ cup caper berries** (serve whole with decorative stems), or finely chopped gherkin
In a salad bowl combine the vinegar, parsley, fennel, ginger, ginger juice and sea salt. Stir in the pineapple, banana, onion and caper berries. Serve immediately.
* Replace pineapple and banana with firm fresh strawberries, thickly sliced; and lightly steamed asparagus (served warm or chilled before adding). This is also delicious bulked up with steamed cubes of kumara/sweet potato.
Shopping and Preparation Tips*
• Ginger: most pickled ginger has artificial food colouring added. Mitoku and other quality brands (from health and specialty stores) use traditional shiso leaves for a natural pink colour.
• Capers: are the pickled buds of a Mediterranean plant. Caper berries are a larger grape-sized version with attractive stems. Look for these in jars next to olives and gherkins.
• Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Malcolm Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. Ordinary salt is taken from mines or sea and so highly refined over extreme heat that it contains nothing but sodium chloride. All other minerals are stripped away, such as potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Bleach as a whitener and chemicals to prevent clumping may be added to table salt.