Spring time provides us with an incredible opportunity to bring lightness into our lives through the food we eat. When we think of Spring we are drawn to salads filled with lots of herbs and crunchy plant based goodness. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) spring is recognised as the season to deeply support our liver and gallbladder where their role is to regulate a smooth and soothing flow of energy throughout the mind, body and spirit.
In the world today most people experience Qi stagnation, expressed as congestion that results from the consumption of poor quality fats, denatured foods, toxic chemicals and medications. Therefore, during this time of year it is not only incredibly important to reassess your nutritional needs, but also to consider where else you may be exposed to toxins. To help get you started this could look like making the switch to homemade cleaning products, natural deodorant and filtered water.
This springtime salad showcases seasonal fruits and vegetables with the addition of toasted pepitas and chickpeas to nourish both your mind and body during this time of year. This salad has been carefully crafted to support your liver and gallbladder thanks to the bitterness of radicchio, rocket and lemon and the abundance of vitamin C. It will also help keep your gut and immune system happy too. Take a look below for the incredible benefits of the goodness within this springtime salad.
Radicchio is a neither a lettuce or cabbage, it is in fact the cultivated leaf from the chicory plant. Radicchio is bitter in taste which helps to stimulate liver function, to increase the rate of elimination of waste and toxins to help keep our blood healthy. Radicchio contains a rich source of vitamin K, copper, folate, vitamin E, potassium, fibre and vitamin C. Containing this wide profile of nutrients allows radicchio to boost our immune function, neutralise free radicals, support healthy bowel motions, reduce blood pressure, strengthen vision and relieve constipation and bloating.
Radishes are not often added to many of our meals these days, however, after showcasing their incredible health benefits we hope to see more of these beauties appear on your plate. Radishes are an edible root vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family that have a pungent taste. Radishes are an incredible detoxifier that help to support liver and gut health, reduce the destruction of red blood cells, help firm up loose bowels and increase bile production. Radishes also have the incredible ability to increase white blood cell count and antioxidant profile to help strengthen the immune system.
Not only are kiwi fruit a delicious treat to eat, they also contain a wide range of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals to support our health. Consuming kiwi fruit is a great way to reduce inflammation thanks to being a rich source of vitamin C. The high content of fibre in kiwifruit helps to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Rocket a.k.a arugula is part of the mustard family and has an abundance of goodness to help reduce your risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer. Rocket is a rich source of nitrate which helps to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen required during exercise and increase athletic performance. Due to rockets bitterness it is an incredible food to use to support your liver function and hydrochloric acid production. This support helps to increase your nutrient absorption at each meal, allowing you to feel satisfied and avoid bloating after meals.
Chickpeas are the perfect plant based protein to add to any meal. Not only is their nutty flavour rather delicious, but they also provide your body with a range of health benefits. Chickpeas are a rich source of fibre to help support digestion, weight management and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. With plant based protein it is essential that you add two sources of plant based proteins at each meal. One plant based protein does not contain the complete amino acid profile (excluding quinoa and hemp), but by combining two complimentary plant based proteins (e.g. a legume + a seed, a nut + a grain, a grain + a legume etc) you can create a complete protein. In this dish we have you covered thanks to the combination of pepitas and chickpeas.
Radicchio, Rocket and Kiwi Salad with Chickpeas
8 Radicchio leafs
2 handfuls of rocket
4 bulbs radish finely sliced
1 kiwi fruit, skin removed and diced
¼ cup pepitas, lightly toasted
¼ bunch fresh mint, washed and leafs removed
½ avocado cut into cubes
½ cup chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- In two bowls divide the radicchio, rocket, radish, kiwifruit and mint evenly. Use your hands to combine all of the goodness together.
- Now add the avocado and chickpeas on top of the leafy mixture in each bowl.
- To make the dressing add ingredients together in a glass jar, secure the lid and give it a good shake to combine.
- Drizzle dressing evenly over each bowl and finish by sprinkling the pepitas on top.