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Papaya Salsa with Jicama "Chips"

Forgo the canned dips and salsas and make one of your own using a few fresh ingredients and spices. This tropical fruit salsa features papayas, which contain vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. When shopping for a ripe papaya, look for skin that is turning from green to yellow. These bright colors also signify an abundance of carotenoids (including lycopene), anti-inflammatory antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and other chronic diseases. For dipping, try Jicama, sliced thinly, as a great alternative to potato chips. This tuber looks a little like a turnip, but has a unique flavor that works well with salsas and salads.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup plum tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped seedless European cucumber, peeled
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium jicama
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

(As always, for the very healthiest versions of any recipe choose organic content as much as possible.)

Instructions:

1. In mixing bowl, combine papaya, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and chile pepper, tossing gently with fork. In small bowl, whisk lime juice and cumin with sea salt and 3-4 grinds pepper until salt dissolves. Pour over salsa and toss to combine. Set aside for up to 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, use paring knife to peel brown skin from jicama and cut away fibrous layer beneath it. Cut a thin slice off bottom and stand jicama on work surface. Using large knife, cut jicama vertically into 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices. Stack oval slices, including uneven ones, and halve vertically. Cut slices longer than 4 inches into thirds. Sliced jicama can be stored in bowl of water in refrigerator for up to 8 hours if not serving immediately. Drain and pat dry before using.

3. Just before serving, mix cilantro into salsa. Spoon salsa into serving bowl in center of serving plate. Arrange sliced jicama around it to use as dippers.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 105 calories, <1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 25 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 10 g dietary fiber, 304 mg
sodium.

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