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Polyphenol Bomb Salad

Polyphenol Bomb Salad

Polyphenols are a group of plant compounds that have been getting a lot of press lately.  Remember when we all went crazy about the health benefits of red wine a few years ago and went out and bought all the wine? Well, that was because red wine is high in resveratrol, one of the over 8,000 types of polyphenols.
Regularly eating polyphenols has been shown to benefit humans in many ways, one of which is gut health.  Polyphenols not only have antioxidant properties, but they prioritize feeding your beneficial gut bacteria while having anti-bacterial effects on your harmful ones.  You're not going to magically fix your gut health if you have some overgrown harmful bacteria making its home in your gut, that requires a more diagnostic approach, but regularly eating these deep purple, red and blue plant foods will help maintain your newly rebuilt gut microbiome.
What are some of the other known benefits?  They’re actually pretty incredible, and include:
·      Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
·      Anti-inflammatory
·      Assist with blood sugar regulation
·      Promote brain health
·      May promote weight loss
 
And who doesn’t want all that?
Deep purple, red, and blue foods contain a special kind of polyphenol called anthocyanins, and you can see this salad is loaded with them.  The approximate polyphenol count per serving of this salad as written is 1516 mg.  Feel free to add any of your favorite deep purple foods such as roasted purple sweet potatoes, purple carrots or raspberries.  There is no wrong way!
If you’re interested in making this an entrée salad, it would be amazing topped with some roasted chicken thighs.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup beets, roasted and sliced or cheat like I did and use Scotty's Fermented Beets
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, toasted
  • 2 TBSP red onion, diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 handful fresh mint, roughly chopped

Dressing

  • 6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil peppery = higher polyphenols
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, toast pepitas and walnuts 6 – 8 minutes.  Watch those little guys like a hawk… they go from perfectly toasted to charcoal in seconds.
  • While that’s happening, chop, dice, or shred the things that need it: cabbage, onion, avocado, and mint leaves.
  • Watch the nuts and seeds!
  • Peel and slice beets.  Toss on a rimmed-baking sheet with a little olive oil and roast until soft.  20 – 30 minutes.  Or scoop the fermented beets out of the jar and slice.
  • Take all the ingredients and toss them into a large bowl: arugula, pomegranate seeds, beets, cabbage, walnuts, blackberries, blueberries, pepitas, onion, and mint leaves.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Mix up the dressing in a jar with a lid.  Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar, slap on the lid, and shake.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve:  Divide salad between 2 – 3 plates, add ½ avocado to each, and top with dressing.  Add salt and pepper, if desired.
Keyword fiber, gluten-free, gut health, polyphenols

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