Another beautiful week is here, love! And I have another delicious, nutrient packed, waist slimming, taste bud teasing recipe for you–a Cranberry Broccoli Salad with Pine Nuts that takes only 15 minutes to make.
When I first made this salad and tasted it, I thought I was in a parallel universe. See, I don’t really like raw broccoli. While I can eat cabbage nonstop in any form, raw or cooked, when it comes to broccoli I can only get it down and somewhat enjoy it only if it’s cooked. Who knew that chopping broccoli into tiny bite pieces and smothering it with a delicious, two ingredient dressing, can make me love it!
I’m glad I found out! Now I don’t have to wonder through my life treating broccoli as a twice-removed step-sister.
The salad is loaded with health promoting ingredients.
Broccoli, a member of the cruciferous family, is a boastful cancer fighter, which also aids in lowering cholesterol, detoxing our system, helps to keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance, and lessens the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. (source) Only 1 cup of broccoli a day will give you 21% of fiber DV!
If you remember from my last two recipe, cilantro helps to stimulate secretion of insulin and lowers blood sugar.
Green onions, much like their close relative garlic, helps to prevent unwanted clumping together of blood platelet cells and boosts the immune system.
Apples, as the saying goes, keep the doctor away, because they help to regulate your blood sugar, and they are great for your gut health.
Scientists have recently shown that important health benefits of apples may stem from their impact on bacteria in the digestive tract. In studies on laboratory animals, intake of apples is now known to significantly alter amounts of two bacteria (Clostridiales and Bacteriodes) in the large intestine. As a result of these bacterial changes, metabolism in the large intestine is also changed, and many of these changes appear to provide health benefits. For example, due to bacterial changes in the large intestine, there appears to be more fuel available to the large intestine cells (in the form of butyric acid) after apple is consumed. (source)
I love my apples crunchy and sweet. When picking an apple for this recipe make sure it is very juicy. Fuji, Gala and Pink Lady apples are my favorites for this reason.
Cranberries are great for preventing and treating UTIs (urinary tract infections). Consuming whole cranberries (not juices or extracts and supplements) helps to better protect our cardiovascular system and our liver. Cranberries also possess anti-cancer properties. The cancer fighting benefits are known to extend to cancers of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate.
Pine nuts are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid (18:1 undifferentiated fat) that helps to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good-cholesterol” in the blood. Pine nuts are also an excellent source of vitamin E, which is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals. (source)
While I can talk all day long about health benefits of the foods you are about to make and devour, I would be totally amiss not to mention the taste, because without great taste who would want to eat these healthy offerings! Right?! Like I said, I’ve always known that broccoli is good for me, but boy…I had to make myself enjoy it. It was a learned skill.
With this salad you get not only the waist slimming, health promoting goodness, but your taste buds also get treated to a feast that is like no other–an exciting stream of saliva inducing molecules hitting your tongue, telling you to take one more bite; a perfect combination of sweetness, saltiness and tartness (or should I be saying acidity? :)) is what humans live for. I know I do. You get all of those flavors with each mouthful of this salad.
When I whipped up a batch of the salad for this post, Hubby said: “Why didn’t you make more? We will finish this in one setting.” And he was right–I could eat the salad all by itself (call it the main course!) and it would be gone in 2-3 settings.
Next time I’m trippling the batch! This weekend we are celebrating Sprout’s birthday–with over 50 guests in attendance (yep, I come from a BIG family :))–I will need at least that much to keep everyone happy.
But enough of my chatter. You’re probably salivating. Don’t you let me stop you from doing that. Here’s the recipe to get you started on your first crunch filled broccoli salad adventure.
- 12 oz. broccoli heads
- 2 oz. cilantro
- 2 oz. green onions (~1 cup)
- 1 large crunchy apple
- ⅓-1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 3 tbsp Veganaise (vegan mayo)
- 3 tbsp Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve balsamic reduction
- chop broccoli heads into tiny bite-size pieces (the smaller the better)
- chop cilantro and onions
- dice the apple using a mandolin or with a knife
- place all ingredients into a large mixing ball, add cranberries, pine nuts, salt, mayo and balsamic reduction
- toss until every ingredient is well coated with mayo and balsamic reduction
- marinate (let it sit) for 15-30 mins in a fridge
- toss and enjoy!
Hubby and I weren’t the only ones who loved this salad. Sprout loved it so much that she did not want to leave my side. She helped with the photo shoot, while stealing broccoli florets and stuffing them into her mouth. “Yummy!” she would exclaim, and then hum while enjoying the bite.
music in the video is by Jasper Sawyer “Love Natural”