Back in 1999 I ended up in a small town in South Texas. The story of how I ended up there is a long story, but an adventure none the less. The time I spent South Texas really had a great influence on my culinary self. I was suddenly surrounded by a mixture of cultures and their food.
On a particular hot day in South Texas, I decided to stop into a new “fruteria” and give it a try. This place was bustling with people, and I took a moment to sit in the back and watch the different anomalies of fruit heading out the door. The most popular….A large skinned cucumber on a stick that was pulled from a giant bucket and then topped with fresh chili powder and salt. I had to figure out what this was about, but I also knew I wasn’t leaving without a fruit cup loaded with pineapple, melons, mango, jicama, fresh coconut, tossed with fresh lime, and also sprinkled with chili powder.
This fruit salad recipe is a marrying of those two items I returned for again and again in that amazing Fruteria in South Texas.
1 C. cut watermelon (phenolic compounds for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support)
1 C. cut cantaloupe (high in Vitamin A and C)
1 C. cut pineapple (high in manganese that is essential to development of strong bones and connective tissue and contains Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, which is considered an effective anti-inflammatory)
1/2 C. cut papaya (high in Vitamin C and A and contains Papain an enzyme helpful in digestion)
1/2 C. cut mango (high in Vitamin C,A, and E)
1/2 C. seeded, peeled and sliced cucumber (high in Vitamin K)
1/2 C. peeled and course diced jicama (high in Vitamin C and fiber)
1/4 C. fresh grated coconut (I purchase a coconut, crack it open pull out the meat, and grate it over the salad. Fresh coconut meat is high in fiber and the combination of its oil and fiber acts like a probiotic and helps with digestion)
Juice of 2 Limes
1 + tsp. chili powder (Ancho or Guajillo) (contains, beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and capsaicin which inhibits inflammation)
Sea Salt (to taste)