By Laura Knapp
I think it’s safe to say that the majority of vegetarians and vegans are very mindful when it comes to the food they put into their bodies. One of the first things we’re always asked by meat eaters is how we get our protein. Very seldom do people ask about our calcium in-take. However, that is just as important!
The government recommends that adults, ages 19-50, should consume 1000 mg of calcium per day. One cup of milk has 296 mg, but there are plenty of plant-based calcium sources that taste great and are easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
This salad recipe is full of calcium to help your bones stay strong and healthy!
This recipe makes about five servings and can be stored in the refrigerator for about two days. And if you do add fish to your diet every now and then, this salad would be the perfect dish to pair it with! Both salmon and halibut are packed full of vitamin D, which will allow your body to better metabolize the calcium.
Let me know what you think of the recipe!
Fig & Spinach Salad
What You Need:
1 cup of dried figs (I used Made in Nature Calimyrna Figs)
1 cup sliced strawberries
8oz of sliced raw almonds
2 ½ cups fresh baby spinach
3 tbsp of aged balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¾ cup of honey
Wash the spinach leaves and tear off the long stems, set aside to dry on paper towels while you begin to slice the figs and strawberries. Sliced both the figs and strawberries into quarters.
Once finished slicing the figs and strawberries and the spinach leaves are dry, tear the spinach leaves so that they are more bite-sized. Dump the strawberries, figs and spinach leaves into a large Ziploc bag and set aside so that they can marinate a bit while you get started with the almonds.
Pour about half the amount of almonds and half the amount of honey into a skillet; turn on to medium heat. Add about a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to prevent the skillet from smoking. With a wooden spoon continue to stir the mixture to make sure the almonds are fully covered in the honey. Once fully covered and slightly golden brown, turn off heat and place on a plate. Repeat with the remaining almonds, honey and apple cider vinegar.
Once the almonds have cooled down a bit add them to the bag of spinach, strawberries and figs. Add as much balsamic vinegar as you’d like, I’d recommend 2-3 tbsp.
Nutritional Benefits: Wheat Free, Dairy Free, No Added Sugar
Figs: Just four figs provide about 100 milligrams of calcium. But they are also high in iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous.
Spinach: Spinach has high amounts of oxalic acid, which can inhibit the body’s ability to assimilate the calcium. Even though it should not be eaten as a main calcium source all of the time, when eaten with foods high in vitamin C (like strawberries) the effect of the oxalic acid is canceled out.
Almonds: One ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts) has 75 mg of calcium. Besides calcium, almonds are full of vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. A quarter cup of almonds has more protein than an average sized egg.
Strawberries: With their unique combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, strawberries support three major health benefits: cardiovascular support, improved regulation of blood sugar and prevention of certain types of cancers including breast, cervical, colon and esophageal cancer.