Monday, March 5, 2012

Raw salad with hemp seeds

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It's amazing how flavorful and delicious a raw salad can be! I believe there are two key factors that make a salad, with just a few ingredients, burst with flavor:

1) The produce should be organic and preferably locally grown. The further away the produce travels, the older it is. Thus less flavor and less nutrition. I have also noticed that produce that isn't pre-packaged (lettuce or carrots for example) tastes much more fresh and flavorful. I always grab loose lettuce and spinach now for salads.

2) I know this is probably obvious, but well cleaned produce tastes better too. Proper washing and cleaning of produce is essential to help avoid food related illness. My mom gave me a great tip for washing lettuce and it really works well. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the lettuce to the water. With your hands, swirl the lettuce around in the water for about 30 seconds, then remove lettuce from the water and place in a colander and rinse with cold water. I always notice dirt in the water bowl! Repeat this process a second time to thoroughly clean the lettuce. For the rest of your produce definitely use a brush to scrub everything well. Even foods with peels I wash because I don't want cross contamination on the knife.

You can add whatever you want to a salad. I usually include mixed greens, sliced red bell peppers, celery and cucumbers.

I got so super excited because last week I found hemp seeds at my local biomarkt (organic supermarket), so I've been adding those to my salads too. They are an excellent source of plant based omega 3's and also are a great source of protein! They don't have a very strong flavor. I'd say they taste like very, very mild sunflower seeds. I love how crunchy they are! Amazon sells them in bulk for a decent price. Well a decent price compared to what I can buy them for in Germany.

Anyway I throw all these ingredients together and then I just make a simple dressing using olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Though the olive oil and balsamic vinegar aren't considered "raw" by most raw foodies, I don't mind because I'm not doing a 100% raw food diet.  I'm tellin' ya, eating like this really is delicious and satisfying!


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