(Recipe credited to Tiina Lemmik)
Here’s an easy, healthy salad loaded with a bounty of hormone balancing vegetables and herbs like chickpeas, basil and mint to keep you cool on these steamy July days. And the best part: no cooking required! Take a look at how these ingredients support healthy hormones.
Cabbage is a nutrient-dense, low calorie food providing an excellent source of Vitamins K & C, potassium, folic acid, Vitamin B6, biotin, calcium and manganese. It’s also rich in a phytochemical called glucosinolate, which is a powerful anticancer compound.
Carrots provide one of the highest sources of Vitamin A carotenes. They also provide excellent levels of vitamin K, biotin and fiber and are very good levels of Vitamin C and B6, as well as thiamine. Carrots help to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer; promote good vision and provide protection against macular degeneration.
Fennel is an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid. It is often consumed for its medicinal effects (especially for digestive problems) and its phytoestrogens content makes it useful as a remedy for symptoms of menopause.
Radishes are very low in calories and a great source of Vitamin C, potassium and folate. As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, radishes share the cancer-protective actions of cabbage, kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts.
Apples are packed with Vitamin C, pectin and fiber. Most of the important nutrients are contained in the skin! The insoluble fiber and pectin in apples help to promote bowel regularity, relieving both constipation and diarrhea.
Mint hosts a wide range of health benefits, primarily being a carminative (providing relieve from gas and bloating) and a digestant.
Basil is in the same family as mint so it also acts as a good digestive aid. It can also be used as a mild sedative for stress and anxiety and as a treatment for headaches. Basil is a very powerful anti-parasitic herb.
Chickpeas are a good source of protein, but most importantly, they are very high in fiber, which helps to clear waste out of the digestive tract and can give the skin an extra glow! Chickpeas are high in zinc and rich in a rare trace mineral called molybdenum, which can assist in the breakdown of certain environmental and metabolic toxins in the liver.
Seeds and nuts are rich sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and contain powerful medicinal phytochemicals. They add a nice crunch too!
Hormone Balancing Summer Salad
Gluten free, dairy free, vegan–serves 2
¼ cabbage (red, white or green) thinly sliced
2 carrots thinly sliced or shaved into ribbons
1 fennel bulb (reserve fronds) tough outer layer discarded and the inner part thinly sliced
5 radishes thinly sliced
1 apple with skin grated
Handful of mint roughly torn
Handful of basil roughly torn
15oz can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
Handful of your favorite seeds and/or chopped nuts, preferably dry-roasted
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove finely chopped
Sea salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Pinch of turmeric
Thinly slice the vegetables and grate the apple last to prevent it from turning brown. For the dressing, put all the ingredients in a jar with a tight lid and shake well. Taste the dressing and adjust the flavor by adding a little more of any of the ingredients as desired. This recipe makes about 7.5 oz of dressing. It will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks, but it is best served at room temperature.
Put the vegetables, apple, herbs and chickpeas in a large bowl, pour a generous drizzle of the dressing over and toss until all the ingredients are well coated (doing it by hand works well). Transfer to a serving platter, scatter with your favorite seeds and enjoy!