A Cuban-inspired Mojo recipe with immunity-boosting powers
A Mojo sauce is a simple but flavorful Cuban tradition. Traditionally, a Mojo recipe is one that features garlic and citrus. It historically would use pork fat but my lightened up version simply features the combination of fresh citrus, garlic and herbs for a healthy, immunity boosting sauce for your favorite grilled or roasted meat.
Like a classic Mojo recipe, this one features a base of sour orange. A good Cuban Mojo will begin with the juice of oranges that are notably tart. Where I live in Southern California, oranges tend to offer more sweetness than tart flavors. So to make up for the lack of bite in the orange, I balance my tangy orange base with the juice of fresh lemons and limes. And then to that I add raw garlic, as a classic recipe would.
What makes this sauce healthy?
Why do I call this Mojo recipe an immunity-boosting sauce? It’s the heigh content of fresh citrus juices that makes this sauce my pick for a health boosting dinner accompaniment. That’s because citrus fruits offer a good source of vitamin C. And vitamin C is believed to increase the production of white blood cells. (White blood cells are key to fighting infection.)
Of course, you might be wondering if the vitamin C you’re getting from this sauce is enough to support your immune system. Well, an average orange has about 130% of your daily vitamin C. So if you’re sharing this sauce with friends, it’s fair to say that a single serving is giving you around 50% of your daily intake. Not bad for a sauce!
The immunity-boosting power of garlic
And then there’s the garlic, one of our favorite aphrodisiac ingredients. You have probably heard that garlic is good for your health. It’s true! In fact, it’s associated with boosting immune function and in studies, shows promise in fighting cold and flu viruses. However, it’s also known that the process of cooking garlic can kill these beneficial properties.
That’s why this recipe is a star! If you use this Mojo recipe as a finishing sauce or dip, the raw garlic still has the full potential to boost health. Of course, studies on garlics powers are limited and it appears most likely to help as an immunity booster, not as a cure when you’re sick. But we say, if you feel it works for you, do it!
This fast and easy twist on a classic Cuban sauce is a great marinade or dipping sauce for fish, chicken or pork.
- 1 orange juice and zest
- 1 lime juice only
- 1 lemon juice only
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- pinch cumin
- pinch coriander
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl. Serve with grilled chicken, fish or pork.
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