Have a little fat with those greens.
I recently learned that if you eat some healthy fat with your greens it helps your body absorb the nutrients from the greens. On a whole foods – plant strong food plan we go oil free. Why? Although oils like olive, sunflower or corn do come from plants they are not whole foods. The oil has been extracted leaving out the healthy fiber, nutrients and minerals. What you are left with is the most concentrated source of empty calories at 120 calories of fat per tablespoon. Oil is dense in calories but not in nutrients. When you consume fats from whole foods like nuts, seeds or avocados you are also getting vitamins, minerals and fiber.
The salad dressing/dip shown above is made with raw cashews that provide healthy fats. This Dijon Date Dressing/Dip is our favorite salad dressing – in fact I am obsessed with it. There are other dressings I want to make but when it comes to salad time this is the one I always make. It’s to live for! It contains healthy fats from raw cashews and gets a little sweetness from all natural but very sweet dates. We don’t like our dressing to be too sweet so I only use 1 date so the flavor of balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard shines! M-m-m-m good!
I make a batch every few days. As it sits in the frig it gets thicker so by the second day I sometimes add a little more Balsamic vinegar to thin it out or it can be used as a dip for raw veggies. To get a silky smooth consistency I process this dressing in my BlendTec high powered blender – twice. If you don’t have a high powered blender you can still achieve a smooth blend if you pre-soak the cashews overnight in water, drain off the water and proceed or you can use cashew butter instead of whole nuts.
Here is the same dressing/dip made with white balsamic vinegar – it won’t make your salad look so dingy and might be more appealing to some folks. I don’t think the white balsamic vinegar is as bold flavor wise as regular balsamic but it still makes a tasty dressing. If you don’t want to make your own nut based salad dressing you could opt for a fat free dressing (choose one that is not full of sugar, salt and preservatives) and toss an ounce of raw nuts or seeds into your salad for a dose of healthy fat. Of course a little fresh avocado is also a good option for healthy fats with a salad. Just watch portion control with nuts and seeds about an ounce a day is plenty good.
Dijon Date Dressing / Dip
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup raw cashew butter or 2/3 cup raw cashews*
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt free Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning blend
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Medjool date, pit removed, chopped (or to taste the original recipe called for 4-6 dates)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender or food processor until silky smooth. Store in refrigerator.
*If you soak cashews covered with water overnight it will soften them so they will blend easier. Pour off water before blending.
Yield: 16 ounces dressing/dip
Serving Size: 2 ounces
Per Serving: 81.5 Calories, 3.6g Fat, omg Cholesterol, 54.6g Sodium, 59.2g Potassium, 12.2 g Carbs, 0.9g Fiber, 1.5g Protein WWPP 2
Recipe adapted from Eat To Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
*The nutritional information and WW PP values posted on Nutmeg Notebook are my best estimates based on the brands of products I use and the software programs used to calculate them. If you rely heavily on the nutritional information and WWPP values I encourage you to double check the values given, using the brands of products you use. If you find big differences feel free to email me or leave me a comment letting me know.