We all know salad is an asset to our diets, but not all salads are created equal. The best ones are the freshest ones: when the ingredients come directly from the soil to your table. The art of building a salad is a part of the celebration of eating the salad. A variety of contrasting colors and textures add to the flavorful experience of a fine salad.

Dress your creation with a dressing full of nutrition and you get twice the benefits. Most commercial dressings are full of things we should not be putting in our priceless bodies. In a future post, I will share some of my favorite dressing recipes with you.

Here are the ingredients in my salad bowl and an easy homemade dressing recipe. My salads revolve around the seasons and what grows in my garden and community. I am grateful to be able to add other ingredients, which I never take for granted, such as a variety of nuts that do not grow here. In the photo, you will see cashews in my salad, but most often I use Mac Nuts. I do love cashews 🙂 Everything else in the bowl is from my hometown or garden. What’s in your salad? Where did it come from?

Ingredients in my bowl:
Mixed baby greens
Arugula
Cashews or another regional Nut
Tomatoes
Cucumber
Sunflower sprouts
Parsley
Cilantro
Yacon

The highlight in my bowl is the yacon. This delicious vegetable is a perennial tuber that originated in South America. It looks like a potato and grows like a Jerusalem artichoke. To me, it has a pear, cucumber taste, and the crunch of a crisp apple. It grows great at our home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Besides adding yacon to my salads, I sometimes just eat them like apples. They also juice easily and add to the nutrition and flavor profile of my daily elixir juice. To learn more about the health benefits and how to cultivate this easy to grow exotic tasting food packed full nutrition, check out this article in theGuardian.

No Oil Needed Avocado Dressing

Ingredients:
• 1 medium size avocado
• 2 clove garlic peeled
• 1/4 cup cilantro (or parsley)
• 1/4 cup organic sour cream or yogurt, or vegan substitute
• 2 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Water to thin the dressing if desired. You can also add honey or another sweetener to give the dressing a sweeter punch
Instructions:
1. Puree ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
2. Add water or liquid sweetener to reach your desired consistency.
3. Refrigerated it can keep for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container.

This dressing is also great over pasta, rice, and roasted vegetables. You can also add more avocado to thicken and use as a dip.
We raise a lot of Avocados on my property, so I often triple this recipe.

Why Eat Avocados?

If you live where they grow, then it makes sense to make this delicious and nutritious fruit/berry a part of your regular diet. Yes, avocado fits all the botanical criteria for that class of this fruit to be a berry. Avocados also help control blood pressure, maintain eye health, and repair cells. They are an excellent source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Most of the calories in an avocado come from healthy fat. And they taste great.
 
Avocado Mask: I often smear ripe avocado on my face. I take a tablespoon or more of the ripe fruit and mush it in my hands and rub it on my face. Simple —  done. I leave it on for an hour or more. My husband does not seem to mind 🙂 If you are looking for more recipes and ideas for your particular complexion, google avocado face mask.
 

Eat for your health and the health of the planet.