Cucumber and Avocado Salad
By Lotus Seed
The fresh crunch of cucumber is a brilliant counterpart to the soft creaminess of avocado. Cucumber is an integral member of the vegetable basket in the East, while avocado is always welcome on the Western dinner table. The pair – one slim and long, the other short and plump – represent Yin and Yang, and together make a delicious Zen salad.
4 Japanese cucumbers
2 medium-sized avocadoes
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sushi vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Cut cucumbers into half-inch cubes. Cut avocadoes into halves. Remove the pits. While still in the skin, slice the avocado flesh into a cross-hatch pattern, and scoop the pieces into a salad bowl. Combine the cucumber and the avocado.
Add the sea salt, sushi vinegar, and sesame oil, and lightly toss.
Replace the 4 Japanese cucumbers with 1 English cucumber, and replace the sushi vinegar with another light-colored vinegar or vinaigrette. Use olive oil instead of sesame oil. Adding freshly ground pepper is a good option, too.
Avocadoes are high in fat – a super-healthy type of fat! Capable of lowering cholesterol and keeping the heart healthy, the monounsaturated fat content of avocadoes is a necessary addition to any dietary plan. Avocadoes also contain lutein – an antioxidant that strengthens eyesight – and vitamin E, which may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Just be sure to curtail portion size so as not to overdo it on fat and calories (a whole medium avocado packs 320 calories and 28 grams of fat!).
An avocado provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins and folic acid, and boasts the ability to act as a “nutrient booster,” enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, from foods that are eaten in combination with the fruit.
Cucumbers are very low in calories, providing just 15 per 100 grams, and contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps to reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancer. It is a very good source of potassium, vitamin K, and antioxidants. Cucumbers have a mild diuretic property likely due to their high water content, which helps keep weight gain and high blood pressure in check.