By Laura Knapp
Earlier this month, I was in the beautiful beachside town of La Jolla, California for a friend’s wedding. Sunday morning I wanted to explore La Jolla a bit and strolled over to the nearby Hillcrest Farmer’s Market.
I always love seeing how farmers’ markets vary from city to city, from the vendors and food options to local bakeries and shops selling their goods. Thankfully as I was wandering through this farmers’ markets, I stumbled upon the Terra Bella Ranch booth that neatly displayed an array of dried fruits and nuts.
What caught my eye the most were their red walnuts – something I had never seen until that very moment!
Walnuts are known to be one of the healthiest nuts available, but red walnuts offer even more nutritional value/ The red skin automatically adds antioxidants while still serving as an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and Omega-3s.
The vibrant color of these walnuts inspired me to create and share this salad as the second installment of the In Good Taste: Vegan posts – hope you enjoy!
Vibrant Antioxidant Salad
What You’ll Need:
½ cup of golden raisins
½ cup blueberries
½ a lemon
6 beets, golden or red, steamed (Note: I used Trader Joe’s Steamed and Peeled Baby Beets)
4 tbsp. of red walnuts (halved)
2 cups fresh baby spinach spinach
3 tbsp. of aged balsamic vinegar
1 plastic bag (I used two sandwich sized bags but I’d recommend 1 of the Gallon size bags)
Begin by putting the golden raisins and blueberries in a plastic bag and add the juice from one half lemon. Give it a little shake just to make sure the lemon juice coats the raisins and blueberries. Set aside while you rinse the beets and slice them into quarters.
Add the beets to the raisin, blueberry and lemon juice mixture so they can soak a bit while you wash, dry and tear the spinach leaves. Add the spinach, the halved red walnuts (or regular walnuts if you can’t find the red variety) and the balsamic vinegar. Seal the plastic bag tightly and shake to combine all of the ingredients. Pour the contents of the bag onto a plate and serve!
Nutritional Benefits: Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Oil Free, No Added Sugar
Walnuts: Walnuts, in general, are a great source of omega-3 fats, which help promote bone health and stabilize moods (tip for the ladies: munch on walnuts if you tend to get grumpy during that time of the month). Walnuts are also rich in zinc, which helps maintain collagen to keep your skin smooth and firm.
Beets: With zero trans fat and no saturated fat, beets are very good for cardiovascular health. Beets contain plenty of vitamin C and about 7% of the daily potassium requirements – potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism inside cells.
Spinach: These leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium and vitamin B6.
Raisins: While the antioxidants in raisins are beneficial to men and women, the high levels of Boron in raisins is extremely beneficial to women. Boron is essential for bone health and is sometimes used to help fight the onset of Osteoporosis.
Blueberries: These berries are said to help reduce belly fat as well as risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit and are rich in copper, which is an effective immune builder with anti-bacterial properties..Print This Recipe