Sweet Anti-Inflammatory Salad
Simplicity is sometimes the most delicious ingredient and dare I say, even the spice of life! We really have mastered the art of complication. We complicate our relationships, our schedules, our food, our thoughts, heck even whether the chicken or the egg comes first. I mean at some point we are going to have to let something give and I am voting it be this deliciously simple salad.
Inflammation is often a contributing cause to many ailments such as irritable bowel disease, arthritis, cancer, heart disease and much more. When managing inflammation in the body, simplifying the bodies job of breaking down foods with easy digestible foods is super important, but that isn't the only thing we can do to reduce inflammation. There are so many beautiful foods and herbs that assist the body in reducing inflammation and this simple salad is loaded with them.
Turmeric's active anti-inflammatory ingredient, curcumin packs a punch when reducing inflammation. So much so that studies compared several compounds on their affect in reducing inflammation in which they found Aspirin and Ibuprofin to be least potent compared to curcumin and other anti-inflammatories around the world.
Apple cider vinegar
The anti-inflammatory properties of ACV work internally within the digestive system. Undigested food particles are often a culprit when addressing inflammation within the body. Apple cider vinegar stimulates enzyme production to support digestive funtion, reducing gas and bloating and in turn preventing and reducing inflammation rooted from the gut. ACV is particularily affected with arthritis.
Celery contains polysaccharides and antioxidants that act as anti-inflammatories. These fight free-radical damage or oxidative-stress that can lead to inflammation.
Sweet potatoes also contain powerful antioxidants which protect our cells from free-radicals and help to balance out the overabundance of inflammation in our body.
Olive oil has been shown to act as a natural pain reliever specifically due to its anti-inflammatory phenolic compound called oleocanthal, which has been shown to work similarly to Ibuprofin and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
As you can see foods and spices really can pack a punch. Of all things to consider, food can be one of the most empowering ways you can choose to empower your health. Let's dive into the dirty details of this salad.
A creamy dressing feels like such a luxury, a treat if you will, but most commercial dressings, have some sort of dairy in them. Whether dairy doesn't agree with you (like me) or you are on a candida cleanse (like most of my clients), dairy is a no go and without a dairy free option on the shelf, creamy dreamy dressings quickly become a thing of the past. Thank the good lord above for hemp hearts.
There is nothing wrong with a good 'ole spiced balsamic vinaigrette, but a little variety can make a big difference. Hemp hearts are the perfect ingredient to turn any vinaigrette into a creamy dressing, while adding extra protein, fiber and omegas to your meal.
This salad is so sweet and simple and that's all it needs to be. A perfect balance between the crunch of the celery and the soft of the spiced sweet potato pucks will have your taste buds tingling for sure!
Sweet Anti-Inflammatory Salad
1 head of romaine lettuce
2 ribs celery
2 tbsp hemp hearts (for topping)
Spiced Sweet Potato Pucks
1 large sweet potato
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp hemp hearts
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2- 1ml of stevia
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Begin by slicing sweet potato. I like mine thinly sliced (about 1/4 of an inch). This reduces your cook time.
After lining your baking tray with parchment paper, space your sweet potatoes out, spices are on the way.
Since we are using coconut oil, you will need to gently warm your oil to liquify it. I do this by running hot water over my tub of oil. Drizzle your oil over your pucks and rub to evenly distribute oil on the tops of bottoms.
Top your pucks with spices and place in the oven.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, flipping half way through. 30 minutes for a soft cooked potato, 45 minutes for a more caramelized potato.
While your sweet potato pucks are cooking, wash, dry and chop your romaine lettuce. Place in a large bowl for tossing.
Slice celery, add to mixing bowl and set aside.
In a blender, add all ingredients and blend.
Toss salad with desired amount of dressing. You may have some left over dressing, which can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for one week.
Once pucks are cooked, serve up your salad and top with sweet potatos and hemp hearts.
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