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Summer Ceviche Recipe

July 27, 2010 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

The long hot days of summer have finally arrived. You want something delicious and nutritious to eat, but you don’t want to fire up the stove or the oven. What to do? Why not “cook” without cooking at all? Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m suffering from heat stroke, let me explain. There’s a form of food preparation that utilizes fruit acids to cook/denature proteins found in select foods such as fish. The pickling process involved yields a dish known worldwide as ceviche. This is a valuable addition to any cooking repertoire because it’s easy to prepare and allows for a fresh way to enjoy more health promoting seafood.

The preparation of ceviche is exceedingly simple but extra care should be taken when selecting the ingredients themselves. So called “whitefish” is generally the seafood of choice for ceviche. But not all whitefish is created equal. I suggest narrowing your choices down to three types of fish that are relatively safe in terms of mercury content and sustainability: Mahimahi, sea bass and wahoo. For additional details and the most up-to-date information about eco-friendly and safe fish options, please visit the footnoted links that follow. (1,2)

Choosing organic ingredients is another way to enhance the quality of a ceviche dish. This is particularly important if you’re going to include the rinds of citrus fruits as part of a recipe. The last thing you want in your meal is pesticide residues that reside on the skins of the grapefruit, lime and orange that this dish requires.

Healthy Fellow Summer Ceviche

16 oz white fish
1 large, organic avocado
3 oz organic lime juice
2 oz organic grapefruit juice
2 oz organic orange juice
1 medium Roma tomato, seeded
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 Tbs organic shallot
2 Tbs organic olive oil
1 Tbs fresh cilantro
1 Tbs fresh parsley
fresh grapefruit rind
fresh lime rind
fresh orange rind
fresh ground black pepper
NutraSalt or salt

Nutritional Content: Calories: 245. Protein: 24 grams. Fat: 15 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 4 grams. Fiber: 3 grams. Based on 4 servings.

Start by cutting the fish fillets into pieces of about 1/3″. Juice the grapefruit, lime and orange and carefully peel the rinds in multiple segments. Pour the citrus juice blend and rinds into a shallow glass bowl and mix well. Add the chopped fish to the citrus components ensuring that the fish is fully submerged. Place a tight fitting cover or plastic wrap on top of the glass bowl. Put the container in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. Stir several times during the “cooking”/waiting period. Pick out the fish meat using a pair of tongs and place into a glass bowl or serving dish. Finely dice the (seeded) jalapeno pepper and shallot. Chop the cilantro, parsley and (seeded) Roma tomato. Cube the avocado. Gently fold in all the new ingredients and 2 Tbs of olive oil into the fish meat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Finally, add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. To serve, simply spoon the mixture into a nice serving glass, onto a large endive leaf or fresh lettuce leaves and enjoy! What could be fresher?

Orange Juice May Reduce the Risk of Gout and Kidney Stones
Source: Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 1: 1269-1274, 2006 (link)

If you’re on a carbohydrate restricted diet, chances are you don’t include many citrus fruits in your daily routine. However, many low-carbers do find that small amounts of citrus can be incorporated without ill-effects. What’s more, using the flavorful rinds of citrus fruits allows for the essence to come shining through while leaving behind virtually all of the natural sugars. In addition, in the case of ceviche, much of the sugar found in the citrus juice is drained away prior to eating.

On the plus side, citrus fruits such as limes and oranges are treasure troves of valuable antioxidants and phytochemicals including ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), carotenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids and reducing sugars which target free radicals and thwart potentially dangerous processes in the body. Preliminary evidence that documents the cancer fighting ability of citrus elements is mounting in the medical literature. For instance, many of the most aggressive malignancies, including pancreatic cancer, appear to be sensitive to bioactive compounds found in limes and oranges. Other laboratory research suggests that lime juice and limonene, a naturally occurring chemical found in many citrus fruits, possesses the ability to modulate the immune system and combat inflammation. (3,4,5,6,7,8,9)

While I don’t endorse the inclusion of orange juice as part of a healthy diet, I must confess that it’s probably a better choice than most other sugar laden beverages. At least three studies published in 2010 alone attest to the fact that orange juice is capable of: a) improving “total plasma antioxidant capacity” in non-smoking adults; b) reducing inflammation and oxidative stress associated with high-fat + high-carbohydrate meal consumption; c) may lower elevated uric acid levels which can increase the risk of gout and kidney stones. (10,11,12)

There is one practical caveat that needs to be mentioned in relation to ceviche. The very acids that work to “cook” the fish can also cause damage (dental erosion) to your teeth. This can largely be overcome by rinsing your mouth out well after eating. This makes for a good habit after eating virtually any food as it will protect against routine dental decay. By adding this simple practice to the end of your ceviche meal, you can enjoy all the benefits while keeping a healthy smile on your face. (13,14,15)

Be well!


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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes

4 Comments & Updates to “Summer Ceviche Recipe”

  1. anne h Says:

    I love that you care enough about your readers that you want them to have a happy mouth.
    That’s exactly why I love ya and your blog!
    Cool recipe – I want to try it!

  2. JP Says:

    Thank you, Anne! A happy mouth is a smiling mouth. And what’s better than a smile? 🙂

    I hope you enjoy the ceviche if you try it out!

    Be well!


  3. Lakshmi Voelker Says:

    what is tastes like honey?

  4. JP Says:

    Hi, Lakshmi.

    I’m not sure if I understood the question. Are you looking for a honey substitute for another recipe?

    Be well!


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