Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rainbow Salads

The color of fresh fruits and vegetables not only makes them aesthetically pleasing, but also indicates which nutrients they contain in abundance.  Experts agree that eating a variety of different colored fruits and veggies is a great way to ensure that you are getting the diverse vitamins and minerals that your body needs for optimal health.  I challenge you to eat a rainbow of fresh produce every day.  Here are two simple salads that look and taste truly brilliant:

Rainbow Fruit Salad (serves 6-8)

1/2 a seedless watermelon, cubed
1 cantaloupe, seeds removed, cubed
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
2 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup purple grapes

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently.  You could also try layering the ingredients in a clear glass dish to create a delicious rainbow effect that tastes as good as it looks.

Why It's Better:

Blueberries are renowned for their antioxidant properties, and are considered one of the most important "super foods."  They are also an excellent source of manganese, a vital nutrient which aids in the metabolism of both fats and carbohydrates. 

Pineapple is rich in the digestive enzyme bromelain and can aid with an upset stomach, heart burn and diarrhea.  Be sure your pineapple is ripe and juicy.  It's skin should smell sweet even before you cut it.

Rainbow Salad

1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 large carrot, sliced or grated
1 medium yellow squash, diced
1 medium head romaine, red leaf lettuce, and/or spinach
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 small red onion, finely sliced 


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon expeller-pressed flax oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all vegetables in a large bowl.  Combine all dressing ingredients in a dressing shaker or mix together in a small bowl.  Toss vegetables with dressing and serve immediately.

Why It's Better:

Red peppers and onions are full of antioxidants and are considered "super foods."  Romaine, red leaf lettuce and spinach all contain more nutrients, including calcium and magnesium than iceberg lettuce or green leaf varieties.  A rule of thumb is the darker the green, the more health benefits it contains.

Flax oil is an important part of a healthy diet as it contains a balancing amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats.  Buy high quality, expeller pressed flax oil in a dark colored bottle and store in your refrigerator.  Never heat flax oil or it will become rancid.


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