Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Pear and Blueberry Salad with Raw Goat Feta, Hemp Seeds and Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Eat Lots of Colors
You only have to look at your dinner plate to see the how nutrition your meal is. Phytochemicals, or beneficial plant chemicals, come in all different colors. This colorful salad is bursting with color and nutrition. You should opt for eating as many colors as you can each day and no, multi-colored MM's don't count.

Hemp Seeds
I'm a big fan of hemp seeds and hemp seed products. They are high in omega 3 fatty acid and they are also a great source of high quality protein. Add them to your salads, over your morning bowl of fruit or hot cereal or anywhere you would use healthy seeds. I like the Nutiva brand. They are non-GMO certified and offer raw, organic product. To learn more about hemp read, "Hemp Horizons: The Comeback of the World's Most Promising Plant".

Rich in Essential Fatty Acids
The salad gets its high content of omega 3 from both the hemp seeds and the flaxseed oil. Each serving provides over 2 grams each of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acid. Although omega 6 deficiency is rare, omega 3 deficiency is common. Omega 3 is needed for proper functioning of ALL body tissues and is especially needed when pregnant for proper fetal development. This important fatty acid also reduces inflammation and is important for a healthy heart and brain. Omega 3 deficiency symptoms include heart disease, poor immunity, fatigue, brittle hair and nails, joint pain, lack of concentration and depression.


Pear and Blueberry Salad [serves 4]
For the Salad
1 head of organic red leaf lettuce, cleaned
1 large pear, cored and thinly sliced
3 thin slices of red onion, separated
1/4 cup organic blueberries (fresh or frozen, thawed)
1 ounce shaved raw goat feta cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons raw, organic hemp seeds
For the Dressing
2 tablespoons raw, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cold pressed flaxseed oil
1 tablespoon agave syrup
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Tear the head of lettuce into a large salad bowl. Add pear, onion and blueberries. Prepare the salad dressing by combining apple cider vinegar, olive and flaxseed oils, agave syrup, salt and pepper. Toss the salad with some or all of the dressing and divide into 4 salad bowls. Top each bowl with hemp seeds and shaved raw goat feta. For a vegan salad, omit the goat cheese.

Per serving: 194.7 calories, 14.5 g fat, 2.4 g saturated fat, 6.3 mg cholesterol, 4.1 g protein, 15.4 g carbohydrates, 2.7 g fiber, 2.4 g omega 3 and 2.4 g omega 6 essential fatty acids.

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