… and while it might not feel like it, this salad is sure going to help it taste like it!
I’m one of those weirdo nutritionists who enjoys salad all year round, but I’m definitely not as inspired as I am come Spring/Summer, especially because that’s when most of the seasonal fresh produce starts showing up in local farmer’s markets and grocery stores.
I was super excited when Joy of Joyous Health invited me to be a part of this Spring Salad Celebration Collaboration alongside several amazing nutritionists and bloggers, since I’m a massive lover of salads and I already had the most delicious Spring-inspired salad in mind!
As you can probably guess by the name, I chose to revolve this salad around dandelion greens! Dandelion greens are those spiky-ish looking greens that you usually see cuddled up next to your swiss chard and kale in the grocery store. Most people walk by this peculiar vegetable as a result of not knowing what to do with it. I was that person that walked by it far too many times while simultaneously kicking myself because I knew how nutritious these greens were and I wanted to make the most of them!
Finally, I took the plunge for this salad! Yup, you guys are my dandelion green guinea pigs! Don’t worry, since I created this salad with my dear friend Becka of Going Grainless during our recipe collaboration day, she had a chance to taste test it and she gave it the thumbs up (this is the 3rd of our 4 recipe collaborations by the way – if you haven’t tried our Grainless Taco Pizza or Shamrock Green Smoothie Bowl yet, I highly recommend you give it a whirl!)
So why do we love dandelion greens so much?
- They are naturally bitter – Where some people might take digestive enzymes in supplemental form or digestive bitters in tincture form, dandelion greens are a natural source of bitters. Bitters are helpful for stimulating the digestive juices to prepare us to break down food. People who suffer from sluggish digestion, gas, bloating or indigestion might experience a huge improvement by incorporating more bitters
- They help increase bile flow – Bile is made and released by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. It allows us to break down fats and is also responsible for eliminating waste products. Super helpful after a long season of hibernation where we may not have emphasized as many naturally detoxifying fresh foods and turned to comfort foods instead and may have experienced lower activity levels than usual.
- They can reduce inflammation – If we know disease thrives in an inflammatory state, we want to do our gosh darn best to keep inflammation to a minimum, right? Dandelion greens are awesome at doing this, due to it’s diverse make up of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and phytonutrients!
- They boost immunity and prevent sickness – Studies show that dandelion greens boost immune function by fighting off microbes and fungi.
- They are a rich source of protein – You might not be able to solely rely on dandelion greens for your source of protein in the day but they do have a high protein content for a small amount of dandelion greens. Not to mention, it’s a complete source of protein since it contains all essential amino acids, meaning we’re able to absorb the protein that much better. Protein is responsible for multiple processes in the body and is what gives us strong nails, skin and hair!
Of course, I had to round out this salad with loads of healthy fats with some fresh avocado, pecans and an olive oil based citrus dressing. This salad is truly so refreshing and screams spring the second you bite into the mix of refreshing quenching flavours (especially the grapefruit!)
A great tip I scooped up from Joy when it comes to managing cravings and satisfying the palette is to mix all four flavours – sweet, spicy, sour and savory – into one meal. I do my best to do this on the daily when I’m throwing meals together and strived to do that with the dish is well. It’s probably lacking in the spice/heat department (although the salad dressing contains garlic) but other than that, we have the sweet (honey in dressing), savoury (dandelion greens/avocado/kale/pecans) and sour (citrus dressing and grapefruit covered), making for one fully palette-balanced meal! Are you one to reach for a sweet treat after dinner? If so, I highly encourage you to try incorporating this into your routine. It’s amazing how satiated it leaves you feeling!
Dandelion Citrus Salad
- 2 cups kale, chopped thin
- 5-6 dandelion leaves, de-stemmed and sliced thin
- 1 grapefruit, cut into wedges
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 small orange
- 1/2 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp fresh garlic
- sea salt to taste
- Put all salad ingredients into a bowl and toss
- Whisk together dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad
If you’re on the hunt for more Spring-Salad Inspiration, check out the following recipes from some amazing fellow nutritionists and food bloggers:
- Aleyda (The Dish On Healthy) – Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad
- Jordana Hart (ihartnutrition) – Chickpea Cucumber Salad
- Joy McCarthy (Joyous Health) – Spring Inspired Detox Salad
- Julie Daniluk – Hot Detox Beet Bop Salad
- Kim D’Eon – Shred Into Spring Salad
- Marni Wasserman – Zesty Apple Fennel Salad
- Marta (Organic Foods For Kids) – Spring Asparagus & Spinach Salad
- Meghan Telpner (Academy of Culinary Nutrition) – Wild Rice Protein Salad
- Rachel Bies (The Healthy Bies) – Sour Cabbage & Fennel Salad
- Samantha Gladish (Holistic Wellness) – Tuscan Kale & Apple Salad
- Sisley Killam (The Pure Life) – Sweet Potato Arugula Quinoa Salad