My daughter, Lisa Rae, brought this salad to our Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago, and it was a hit! We’ve been making it ever since. I want to share the recipe with you, along with some of its “food as medicine” health benefits.
Cranberry Spinach Salad
Combine in a lare bowl:
1 10-ounce package fresh organic spinach
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1 cup pecans (raw or lightly roasted)
To roast, spread pecans in a single layer on a stainless steel baking pan, and roast in a 300-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes. When you begin to smell the pecans, check them. They can burn quickly.
For the dressing, whisk together:
2 tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon Dijon or brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Just before serving, toss salad with dressing.
Cranberries are beneficial for bladder and urinary tract health. They also contain polyphenols, an antioxidant that helps preserve brain function.
Spinach contains saponins, which help to lower cholesterol. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in saponins have lower rates of breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Spinach also contains beta-carotene, lutein, and zeanxanthin, all found to help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. NOTE: If you are predisposed to kidney stones caused by oxalates, you may need to replace the spinach with romaine lettuce, as spinach is high in oxalates.
Feta is lower in fat than some cheeses, like cheddar, and provides calcium and vitamin K2, needed to transport calcium into the bones.
Pecans are a good source of vitamin E and ellagic acid, both found to be effective against cancer.
The olive oil in the dressing is a healthy fat that helps the body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K, along with lutein and zeaxanthin.
Mustard contains turmeric, which is anti-inflammatory.
Balsamic or raw apple cider vinegar aids digestion and can help control blood sugar.
Raw honey has been known to help with constipation and diarrhea, as well as ease ulcer pain.
Black pepper helps with nutrient absorption.
I hope you have a blessed and healthy Thanksgiving celebration!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach
1 Thessalonians 5:18–“Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your healthcare provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.