Nourishing Traditions Book Review: Part XIV – Vegetable Salads

There are so many different veggie, fruit cheese and nut salad combinations out there!  And thanks to our current access to pretty much any food imaginable, it increases the options even more!  Another benefit to salads is that it is usually raw for the most part.  The typical American diet is mostly cooked foods and we should be eating more raw options than we do.  By cooking foods we change their composition and kill the enzymes and denature some of the vitamins.  It is good to have a healthy mix of raw and cooked. Add to that a healthy and tasty salad dressing to complete the taste and increase enjoyment!

Raw foods have been hailed to help bring down blood pressure and increases cardiac health in general. Salad is an easy way to introduce more raw foods into our diets.

By eating raw and fermented foods we are using the natural enzymes in the food to help break it down as we eat.  We have enzymes in our body too which are used, but it spares the body harder work, but eating them with our foods.  If eating all cooked foods it requires all the enzymes needed to digest the food to be produced by the body.  This makes the body work a lot harder.  Also it has been noted that older people have 1/30th the amount of enzymes that younger people have in their saliva.  By aiding our body in production/eating the enzymes it prolongs the production capabilities of our own bodies of the enzymes we need. It is even thought that is prolongs life as well.

Iceburg lettuce has recently been given a bad rap for it’s low nutrient level and I’m not about to argue with that.  In fact, per Sally Fallon it can have an accumulation of cadmium which is a toxic metal.  That said, it doesn’t give you the freedom to just avoid salad altogether!  Romaine is a good option as is watercress.  Watercress is rich in fatty acids, chlorophyll, carotenoids, iron, sulphur, calcium, iodine and vanadium. So what’s not to like about it!?

The recipe for the Tomato Platter(on page 182) looks fantastic!  It includes tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, endive, cilantro or basil, avocado, oil, vinegar, lemon and feta cheese.  The combination of those ingredients makes my mouth start to water.  As soon as these ingredients ripen from my garden this will the first recipe to try!  Fresh ingredients from the back yard!  I’m salivating already!  Is summer here yet?

Another salad that looks particularly interesting and tasty is the Rainbow Salad(on page 187) which includes fennel, endive, red cabbage, carrots, red pepper, cucumber, celery, red onion, cilantro, pine nuts, avocado, tomato, roquefort cheese and a balsamic dressing.  It would certainly be colorful and I’m sure flavorful as well!

This entire chapter has fantastic recipes for the summer garden! All of them have a freshness and crispness that is tantalizing!  Often when the word salad is mentioned I think of lettuce, with a few veggies and tasteless dressing.  These recipes put that to shame!  A lot of them don’t even have lettuce in them, but a mixture of raw veggies with a dressing on them!  I can’t wait til summer!!!! 😉  I just can’t bring myself to try these though with grocery store variety tomatoes… it just isn’t the same.  In fact I don’t like tomatoes unless they are homegrown! Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Do you have a favorite salad?  One of ours is Taco Salad which I plan to post soon!

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