I am a sucker for salads. They are a great way to get tons of fruits and veggies into your daily recommended in take. My philosophy is the more colorful the salad, the better tasting and better it is for you since you are getting a wider variety of plant options, each of which has their own special makeup of healthy benefits. And since most salads are raw, you get the highest nutritional value from these plants as opposed to cooked vegetables which lose percentages of their nutritional value due to the heating process. Salads are a breeze to make as well. If you know how to peel a carrot, chop up an onion, or slice a cucumber, you have mastered the art of salad making!
I tend to eat a lot more salads during the summer. The hot weather makes biting into a crisp hydrating salad so refreshing! Plus due to our garden, this is the time where I can really add a lot of my organic, local vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, etc. The fall still provides me with a lot of vegetable options, but these vegetables are denser and tend to be apart of the “root vegetable” family, like carrots, onions, turnips and beets. It is good to get vegetables “in season”. Not only do they save you money on your produce bill, but they reduce the harmful emissions that are created when exotic produce is flown in from other countries.
So sticking with local and in season produce, I decided to stick with a base of red cabbage and carrots, two hardy vegetables, for my fall inspired salad. I tossed in some nuts to add more crunch to my already crunchy dish, and added some craisins for extra sweetness. And of course, since this is my first food post, I have to tie in the Bee. A honey lemon dressing creates the finishing touch.
All of these plant-based ingredients provide you with amazing health benefits. Here are the ingredients and the reasons why they are so good for you!
Red Cabbage – Cabbage is excellent for bone health. Containing a trifecta of the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium, this vegetable helps protect and strengthen your bones against diseases such as osteoporosis.
Carrot – Aside from the well-known fact that carrots are high in Vitamin A, these root vegetables have potassium, a natural vasodilator, increasing blood flow and circulation, thus lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Walnut – Studies have shown that due to its content of fibre, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts and walnut oil help lower the blood pressure and resting blood pressure in response to stress.
Sunflower Seeds – Sunflowers represent the sun and symbolize joy. Oddly enough, sunflower seeds contain magnesium, which soothes the nerves, reducing stress and improving mood.
Lemon – Not only do lemons contain high amounts of vitamin C (one lemon has 128% your daily recommended intake), lemons are excellent for indigestion and constipation.
Honey – Enjoy the sweetness of the bees! Honey is a wonderful natural replacement for sugar and other sweeteners.
This salad helps connect with your lower chakras with its root vegetables, providing you with energy and a sense of safety and security.
Convinced that eating plant-based meals is the way to go? Try this salad and see for yourself!
Red Cabbage and Carrot Slaw with Craisins and Sunflower Seeds in a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
(makes 4-6 cups)
- 1/2 a head of red cabbage – sliced and chopped into thin strips
- 1 – 2 carrots – julienned
- 1/4 cup walnuts – chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup craisins
- 1 lemon – juiced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 2 tbsp nut oil (I used walnut)
- Add cabbage, carrot slices, walnuts, poppy seed, sunflower seed and craisins to a large serving bowl.
- In a separate small dish or measuring cup, add 1/4 cup honey, oil, and the juice of 1 lemon. Whisk well with a fork until the lemon and honey form a consistent liquid.
- Add dressing to salad, toss well and set aside in a fridge for at least an hour for the dressing to marinate in the cabbage and carrots.