For many people, one of their fondest summer memories is holding outdoor barbecue parties with their loved ones. Salads, of course, are always a welcomed treat when it comes to these get-togethers. Whether it’s a simple crunchy coleslaw or a "smashed” cucumber salad garnished with feta cheese, salads are a wonderful complement to any meal, providing a crunchy contrast to grilled meats and other savory food selections.
Here’s a delicious but easy-to-prepare salad that you can enjoy: Crisp and Refreshing Apple, Fennel and Walnut Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette. This recipe comes from Catherine Katz, and has been published on her blog, Cuisine City, as well as on the website Naturally Savvy. Try this wholesome salad recipe today!
Crisp and Refreshing Apple, Fennel and Walnut Salad With Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1 large organic fennel bulb, rinsed and sliced thinly
- 1 organic green apple, skin on, rinsed and coarsely grated
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Serving Size: 4 to 6 servings
- Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a medium salad bowl and whisk briskly.
- Place the salad ingredients in vinaigrette bowl and toss to coat well.
Simple, Budget Friendly and Versatile: Everything You Want in a Salad
You don’t need to raid your fridge’s crisper section just to come up with a delicious salad. In fact, this easy recipe uses only three ingredients — and yet the result is absolutely satisfying! Perhaps one of the best things about this salad is that its vinaigrette is made with a superstar ingredient: apple cider vinegar (ACV). Not only does ACV provide a rich and tart flavor to this recipe, but it can boost your health in numerous ways, as well.
Fun Facts About Fennel
Did you know that every part of the fennel, from the feathery fronds to the seeds inside, is edible? Yet, the most utilized part is the crunchy pale green root, also known as the bulb. It has a mild yet distinct licorice flavor, and goes great not just in salads, but in stews and soups, as well.
And if you think that it’s only recently that fennel is gaining ground as a healthy ingredient, think again — it’s actually been used since ancient times. Roman author Pliny used it to treat 22 different health problems.1 Meanwhile, medieval emperor Charlemagne decreed that every garden should have fennel growing in it, so people could take advantage of its healing properties.2
Other systems of medicine, such as Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) also make use of fennel. But what exactly does fennel have to offer?
For starters, it has good amounts of vitamin C, which can help eliminate free radicals from the body and may help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. It also has dietary fiber, which prevents buildup of bad cholesterol and absorbs water in the digestive system, potentially improving digestion.
Other standout nutrients in fennel include potassium, folate, manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, copper and phosphorus, all of which have their own impressive, health-boosting benefits. For example, potassium is necessary for regulating bone cell generation, heart rate and muscle activity, as well as lowering high blood pressure. Meanwhile, folate is essential for pregnant women, as it helps reduce the risk of birth defects in their unborn children.
You can easily buy fennel at farmers markets, but here’s a great idea: Why not grow it in your garden? Check out this article on how to grow fennel at home.
Remember: Buy Organic Apples
Apples are available year-round on supermarket shelves, but please keep in mind to always buy them organic. This is because apples are among the most pesticide-laden fruits today, and are included in the Environmental Working Group’s 2017 “Dirty Dozen” list.3
You won’t regret making this choice, though, because organic apples are one of the most nutritionally packed fruits out there. They are loaded with vitamins C and A, which are both essential antioxidants for resisting infections and eliminating free radicals. Fiber is also abundant in apples, as well as vitamins B1, B2 and B6, which work to support metabolism and other vital processes in the body.
You can get copper, iron, phosphorus, zinc, potassium and calcium from apples, too — minerals that are crucial to maintaining optimal blood pressure levels and controlling heart rate.
Wonderful Walnuts: One of the Healthiest Nuts Available
While I typically advise consuming macadamias and pecans, you certainly can’t go wrong with adding walnuts to your meals. Walnuts are gaining attention in the health community today, as they’ve been linked to a wide array of benefits.
One study, for example, found that people who were at high risk of diabetes were able to improve their blood vessel wall function and had lower bad cholesterol levels after consuming 2 ounces of walnuts daily for six months, and then removing them for another six months. There also were improvements seen in other heart health variables, such as blood pressure and body fat.4
These benefits are not surprising, considering that walnuts offer the highest level of antioxidants among all nuts. Some unique examples include the flavonol morin, the tannin tellimagrandin and the quinone juglone — all of which are powerful at scavenging free radicals.5
In addition, walnuts contain l-arginine, an amino acid that has numerous vascular benefits, especially for people suffering from, or have an increased risk of, heart disease. You can also get plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from walnuts, which has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Just remember to eat walnuts (and other nuts) in moderation, as consuming them in excessive amounts may lead to too much dietary protein in your system, which can expose you to many health problems. Walnuts actually fall into the mid-range level, as far as carbs and protein are concerned. You can eat them every day, but please do so in moderate quantities.
Tart and Refreshing, This Apple Cider Vinaigrette Offers You Wholesome Benefits
The basic vinaigrette uses two base ingredients, oil and vinegar, which are blended with a variety of herbs and spices to give it depth of flavor. While most recipes call for red wine vinegar, black vinegar or balsamic vinegar, this one uses ACV, which is perhaps one of the most beneficial (yet understated) condiments you have in your kitchen pantry. So what exactly does apple cider vinegar do? This video offers an excellent summary of how it can benefit your body:
Aside from cooking, apple cider vinegar can have home cleaning and personal hygiene purposes. Check out this article on ways to use apple cider vinegar at home.
One last reminder: Use organic, unfiltered and unprocessed vinegar. It should be murky, unlike distilled white vinegar, which is clear (and is best used for cleaning). The murkiness comes from the “mother,” which is a cobweb-like substance that contains all the benefits this liquid can give. The mother is a sure sign that you’re using a high-quality product.
About the Blog:
Founded by a Holistic Nutritionist and a trusted expert on healthy living, Naturally Savvy’s main focus is to make sure its readers eat organic and non-GMO whole foods, while learning how to integrate nutrition into their daily lives. The website shares the latest news on healthy living, how to properly read food labels and other tips to make you and your family live a happy and healthy life.
Sources and References