One of the things I love most about being in my nutrition program is learning about the therapeutic application of food – learning about all of the health and nutritional benefits we receive from eating whole food ingredients. A well-rounded whole foods diet is deeply nourishing for our bodies, and I am witnessing the benefits first hand as I am applying to myself what I am learning in school.
As part of the curriculum we are required to give two food demonstrations on a chosen recipe, and then explain all the health benefits of the ingredients…this is the kind of stuff I get excited about! For my first food demo I made Beet Root Ravioli with Cashew Nut Cream. It turned out well, however I ended up landing in the ER for nearly slicing off the top of my thumb! Yikes!
After making a note to myself to sign up for a knife skills class, I decided that my next recipe would be a bit easier, and maybe not require so much slicing and dicing! For the following food demo I decided to make ‘Apple and Fennel Salad with Goldenberries’. I found the recipe from a great book that I highly recommend called ‘Powerful Plant-Based Super Foods’, by Lauri Boone R.D. I never used fennel in a recipe before, and never even heard of goldenberries (also called gooseberries) so I felt like exploring! With only seven ingredients, this is an easy dish to make, and is super tasty.
Here it is!
2 apples, cored and sliced
1 bulb fennel, chopped
¼ cup raw almonds
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole flax seeds
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup dried goldenberries
Place all the ingredients except the goldenberries in a food processor and pulse into a coarse mixture. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the goldenberries, and serve.
Thats it! This recipe breaks down into about 57% Carbs, 16% Protein, and 27% Fat – so it would work really well into a breakfast rotation as it would keep you full well into lunch. I tried it for breakfast and yes, it did keep me full! It is a bit sweet due to the apples and cinnamon, but not too sweet…it is a yummy way to start the day.
Health Benefits of Ingredients
Here I will share with you what I learned from this recipe…
Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, pectin, and other fibers. Most of the apple’s important nutrients are contained in the skin! Some studies have shown that apple consumption is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma, and type II diabetes.
Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber.
Almonds are an excellent source of monosaturated and polyunsaturated oils, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin C.
Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C. In addition, they are also a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, folic acid and flavonoids.
Flaxseeds are an excellent source of the omega-3 essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and are a very good source of dietary fiber.
Cinnamon has a long history of being used for flavoring and as a medicinal herb. Recent studies have demonstrated that Cinnamon helped to reduce fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol in people with type II diabetes.
Goldenberries (also called Gooseberries) are considered a superfruit! Goldenberries contain carotene and antioxidants…they are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, and a good source of dietary fiber. For a fruit, they possess a high content of protein (2g per serving).
As you can see, this dish is full of fiber! One thing I just learned about fiber is that it helps to bind excess cholesterol in the digestive tract. So in addition to all the health benefits of this recipe listed above, you could also help to potentially improve your cholesterol levels. Awesome!
Below is a photo of how it turned out…I will definitely be making this again soon.