Eating a balanced diet is part of any healthy lifestyle, but did you know there are actually “super foods” that can boost your brain? There are a number of “brain foods” out there that nourish the brain, enhancing your mental alertness, ability to concentrate and can even help prevent memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s. There are plenty of puzzle games for brain training, but here, one of the best ways to improve your concentration and stay sharp is to also eat a brain-healthy diet.
When you search for brain food recipes, you’re bound to see plenty that are focused on grains or fish. Salmon in particular is rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) that cannot be made by our bodies organically and must be obtained through diet. Those who avoid fish altogether are severely lacking in these rich oils and fats that promote healthy brain function as well as increased wellness of the heart and smoothness of joints. You can obtain these essential oily fats in other ways, such as flaxseed oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seeds and soya beans and their oil.
Salmon is loaded with healthy omega 3-fats, and when you combine it with another brain food such as avocado, you wind up with a delicious and mind-fueling meal. Since salmon and avocado are among the top super foods which improve brain health, it only makes sense to combine them in a dish. You can find loads of healthy salad recipes online, but the key to the perfect brain foods meal is selecting two dishes that compliment one another in flavor and texture.
Both salmon and avocado have smooth but distinct textures, and while salmon packs a strong taste, avocado is much less unimposing without losing any of its originality. The following recipe is easy to make and will take you through the process of making your own smoked salmon with a hearty avocado salad on the side.
Easy Smoked Salmon Recipe
- 2 large salmon filets. You can buy these fresh or in the frozen food section of your supermarket.
- 1/4 cup kosher salt.
- 1/2 cup sugar.
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar.
- 1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorn.
- Combine your sugars, salt and black peppercorn into a bowl. Spread a sheet of aluminium foil slightly longer than the length of your salmon filets, and top it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with about 1/3 of your seasoning.
- Lay one side of the fish skin onto the rub, then sprinkle 1/3 of the rub onto the flesh of the salmon. Place the second side of the salmon flesh down onto the first side, and use the remaining rub to cover the exposed skin.
- Fold plastic over and close the edges of foil tightly around the fish.
- Place the fish onto a plank or sheet pan and top with another pan. Weigh it down with a heavy phone book or brick and refrigerate for 12 hours. Flip the fish over and repeat the process for another 12 hours. Have a bowl prepared to gather the juice that will leak out during the process.
- Unwrap fish, rinse off the cure with cold water. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and place in a cool, dry space until the surface of the fish is dry. A fan can be used to speed up the process that usually takes 1 to 3 hours.
- Smoke the fish using this guide over smoldering hardwood chips or sawdust, and keep the smoker between 150 degrees F and 160 degrees F until the thickest part of the fish registers 150 degrees.
Quick and Easy Avocado Salad Recipe
- 1 ripe avocado (or one per person if serving multiple people)
- 1 or more bags of your preferred leafy greens.
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice.
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
- 3 teaspoons of ground black pepper.
- Peel and cut your ripe avocado vertically so you have 4 to 6 long pieces. Sprinkle with a pinch of black pepper and set aside.
- Combine your oil, lemon juice and seasonings in a boil, adding more to taste as you go along.
- Wash and prepare your salad, and place it into your serving bowl.
- Top with avocado and toss well.