Papaya is an excellent anti-inflammatory food, high in carotenoids & loaded with papain - an enzyme that facilitates digestion and is commonly used as a tenderizer. The antioxidants in papaya help to fight free radical damage which reduces oxidative stress (the kind of stress that leads to premature aging and ill health). Also high in vitamin C & A so it's excellent for the skin.
So how do you make this power house of a salad?!
First and foremost my rendition is an alternative to the traditional recipe which includes lots of sugar in the dressing and fish sauce. I happen to love fish sauce but I didn't have any on hand and the brands sold at the farmers market have unnecessary additives and even more sugar in them - so I bypassed the fish sauce all together and chose to use tamari.
Enjoy this variation
A couple handfuls of grated green papaya - this is basically the papaya that comes from the unripe fruit
1 small zucchini or 1/2 of a large one, grated
1 small carrot or 1/2 of a large one, grated
4-5 small cherry tomatoes
1-2 bunches of Thai basil
~ place in a bowl
2 cloves of garlic
1 chili, stem removed
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp tamari
1.5 Tbsp Swerve Brown (this is a sugar alternative made from Erythritol - I use this in just about all my sugar free baking!)
handful of peanuts - have extra on hand for roasting and topping the salad
~ blend everything together, reserving an extra handful or so of peanuts and the lime. Roast the peanuts on the side and once you've combined your dressing and salad ingredients, top the salad with the extras ~ squeeze the lime on top ~ allow the salad to sit and marinate for several minutes. This can also be made in advance as long as the papaya is green and not partially orange (sometimes happens if the papaya that was grated was ripening).