Purslane, Plum and Avocado Salad [Vegan] [Low Carb]
Posted Nov 13 2008 6:21pm
Perhaps you've heard recent hype about an obscure green weed with amazing health benefits for depression, but the truth is that purslane is an old herbal remedy-food and long-time enemy of a tidy gardener. If you're not sure about the safety of harvesting it in the wild, stop off at your local farmer's market. Now we can add "Purslane, Not Prozac" to the book "Potatoes, Not Prozac," or my personal (contrived) favorite slogan " pushups, Not Prozac." Whether you are concerned about depression, the odds are you know someone close to you who is. While exercise to alleviate depression as demonstrated by these Duke University studies may not necessarily be your cup of tea, perhaps a nice bunch of purslane in your salad, stir fry, or soup might be. Heck, while you're at it, toss in some fresh avocado and seasonal fruit- peaches, plums, nectarines. You might even forget the ominous "healthy" stuff in your meal after you take a bite.
1-2 organic plums ~ 2 lb. fresh purslane 1 ripe organic avocado 5-6 roma tomatoes slivers red onion oregano, to taste
Dressing: 50-50 mix of organic extra virgin olive oil, crushed red pepper, red wine vinegar, sea salt, and pepper. Wash and pat dry the purslane and plums. Tear into bite sized pieces and put in a large bowl. Slice the red onion, plums, and avocado and add to the purslane. I cut my plums into thin wedges since I prefer them that way. Add the tomatoes and toss with dressing and oregano. That's it- fast, easy and delicious healthy greens and Omega 3's all in one tidy package.
It is also high in potassium, healthy omega 3 fats, Vitamin A, folate (a critical B vitamin), and calcium. Dr. Duke in his classic herbal reference The Green Pharmacy lists purslane as packing
"... up to a whopping 16 percent antidepressant compounds, figured on a dry-weight basis."
Well, with that resume why not try some purslane with your salad? As your salad? I'm sold, although this salad's a winner even without the purslane! I adore avocado, especially when combined with fresh organic peach or plum. It's an addiction akin to peach salsa. The seasonal local plums here add a nice juicy bite of Vitamins A, C, K, and a little fiber (eat the skin, always!) with a very low glycemic load of just a few points (under 55 glycemic index and under 10 glycemic load are "low"). Don't forget the humbleavocado, harbor of healing monounsaturated good fat, a large amount of fiber (40% RDI of fiber: 13 carbs, 10 fiber per 150 g.), and a plethora of Vitamins C, K, E, folate, panthoethic acid (another B vitamin), and B6. Avocado also provides a good source of magnesuim, potassium, and other trace minerals necessary for health. Actually, I could (and may) write an entire post on the wonders of avocado and its use outside the parochial realm of guacamole dip or sliced topping. But for now, you can have your feel-good food without guilt (as if anything was stopping you).
Note: If purslane is hard to find in your area, watercress, spinach, dark leafy lettuce (not iceberg) are great alternatives.