By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
Spring is officially here in the US (even though we still have about a foot of ice/snow mixture here in New England). With spring comes more sunshine and longer days meaning fresher produce sprouting up at local farms and gardens. This salad is inspired by the spring season so it’s full of fresh, seasonal and some local produce plus the dressing is easy to make and so delicious. The base for this salad’s dressing is walnut oil. Walnut oil is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, “healthy fat” that boasts omega-3 essential fatty acids. Walnuts are linked not only to reducing inflammation but also being cancer, diabetes and heart disease preventive. While our bodies don’t convert as much plant-based omega-3’s into its “active” form of EPA/DHA, compared to animal sources, like wild salmon, there’s much to be said for the benefits of plant-based omega-3s like those found in walnuts. Research has shown that walnut oil, most commonly consumed as salad dressing, can help to lower triglyceride levels in the blood, reduce certain markers of inflammation and mitigate negative effects of metabolic syndrome. The apple cider vinegar is wonderful in dressings – read more about its amazing health benefits here.
Arugula, also called rocket, is part of the famed cruciferous veggie family that includes superstars like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. It’s slightly bitter flavor let’s you know it’s packed with good-for-your-liver (your body’s fat burner), natural detox-promoting and cancer-fighting sulfur-based phytonutrients.
Arugula + avocado & walnut oil dressing are a winning combination. Arugula is rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for your eyes and help prevent age-related macular degeneration. These fat-soluble carotenoids are best absorbed when consumed with a healthy fat. It’s food synergy happening right here in your bowl!
Dressing Ingredients (this makes enough dressing for 8 – 10 servings) :
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Trans Fat: 4g