Move over apples, I think the age old saying needs to be re-written to “a SALAD a day keeps the doctor away”. I know that whenever I’m feeling a little under the weather, if my body feels a tad on the acidic side, or if I can sense a bug coming on; a beautiful, colourful, crunchy salad is the perfect pick-me-up.
If you don’t include at least one raw salad into your day, now’s the time to start. Millions of people, especially in the western world, eat diets that are dominated by packaged, lifeless, additive, and sugar filled foods. When illness arrives (which will inevitably happen with this kind of lifestyle), the answer is generally some form of pharmaceutical medicine. But eating a diet that is plentiful in raw veggies in a range of colours is probably one of the cheapest forms of medicine; both preventative, and in many cases curative, that you could ever access; minus the side effects!
The wonderful thing about salads, is that they’re quick, easy, and have the potential to be one of the most delicious meals you’ve ever devoured. Don’t for a second think that salads have to be a drab, flavour-less experience; you can mix and match, or add and subtract a multitude of components to get the exact blend of flavours for your own personal taste. You can also add nuts and seeds to give it some protein and bulk your spectacular salad up into a satisfying lunch or dinner. Also, concocting your own delicious dressings, whether creamy, zingy or sweet, is so much more satisfying than any of those watery supermarket creations that are designed to survive longer than the average human!
This magical mixed leaf seeded salad with cashew nut mayo will really blow any of your preconceived ideas about boring salads right out the window. It is seriously simple, but has HUGE flavour. I could eat this for breakfast- it’s that good! And knowing the amazing medicinal effects that this scrummy dish is having on your body will make you want to do the same.
When choosing your mixed leaves for this super salad, be sure to really go for variety, and deep green colours to get the maximum nutrient hit possible. Some of my favourite salad leaves include kale, spinach, rocket, beet leaves, cos lettuce and chard. There are so many yummy varieties of greens out there; go nuts, because every different plant contains unique and powerful medicinal properties.
The good old green leafies are probably one of the cheapest, readily available superfoods on the planet. They are a fabulous plant based source of non-haem iron, calcium, potassium magnesium, vitamins A, C, K, E as well as several B vitamins, they are high in fiber, and are extremely rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is incredibly alkalizing, it enables you to release stored toxins from the body, it neutralizes the pollution you breathe in each day, oxygenates the body, and also improves circulation by elevating your haemoglobin count. As well as including them into your salads, you can also use green leafies to create an uplifting, detoxifying juice, or a revitalizing green smoothie. Delish!
Another star ingredient in this bursting-with-health salad is the awesome avocado. Did you know that adding fat to your salad is required to make all those wonderful nutrients and antioxidants bio-available to your body? Unfortunately, not everything you eat is absorbed into your system. The digestive process will often destroy and degrade nutrients before the body can use them. Water soluble nutrients such as lycopene, beta carotene and lutein need a little help getting absorbed, and this is why adding an avo to your salad is such a grand idea. Avocadoes will increase the bioavailability of all these goodies so you can receive the maximum health benefits possible.
The addition of seeds into a salad will always liven it up by adding a pleasant crunch, and they are also a brilliant way to maximize your health. Seeds are great sources of protein, zinc, essential fatty acids, potassium, folate, vitamin A, B’s, C and other life enhancing nutrients.
Sunflower seeds boast richness in folate, which is very important for women who are pregnant or wishing to conceive. They are also high in vitamin E, making them a great ‘internal sunscreen’, by causing the skin to resist the damage caused by UV rays.
Sesame seeds contain important cholesterol-fighting fibers known as lignans. Studies indicate that lignans also have powerful cancer fighting effects, especially for prostate and breast cancers.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of cartenoids, which are special plant antioxidants that have been found to have immune boosting properties. Pumpkin seeds are a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient, and have been used in many cultures as a treatment for a range of intestinal parasites.
When eating seeds, you can also significantly increase the bio-availability of all their nutrients by soaking and dehydrating them. Read this post to learn about the importance of soaking nuts and seeds, and how to do it yourself at home.
Enjoy this hot-to-trot salad as an easy, fresh lunch option, or as an accompaniment to your main course. This recipe will revolutionize your salad making, and hopefully it will set you off to become an avid salad artist at home. The possibilities are limitless. Feel free to experiment with different veggies, herbs, and dressing mixtures that you enjoy. For more super salad ideas, try this Quinoa, Pear, Zucchini and Red Onion Salad, or this beautiful Rainbow Salad with Tahini and Lemon Dressing. For some dressing inspiration, try my own Jam Jar Dressing as a starting point for your own creations.
Once you experience the immune boosting, mood lifting effects of including a salad like this into your daily routine, you won’t be able to turn back!
Mixed Leaf Seeded Salad with Cashew Nut Mayo
- 2 cup2 mixed leaves
- 1 avocado diced
- 2 tomato julienned
- 1 cup snow peas sliced on the diagonal
- 50 gms sunflower seeds
- 50 gms pepitas
- 20 gms sesame seeds
Cashew Nut Mayo
- 1/4 cup cashew nuts
- 2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
- Pinch sea salt
- ¼ of a shallot
- 3 drops liquid stevia
- 4 TBS filtered water
- Measure seeds and roast them in pan on number 3 for 5-10 mins until brown
- Place dressing ingredients a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy
- Arrange salad ingredients in a bowl
- Sprinkle in the roasted seeds reserving a few to scatter on top
- Gently stir in dressing to evenly coat salad
- Add black pepper to serve