Ah Spring is definitely here! The sun is warming, the bulbs are going crazy. As much as I love the nourishing foods of winter, I have to say the last few weeks I have been looking forward to indulging in big bowls of salad. And after last week's post on Spring health with Amanda this is the perfect dish to support your liver and detox those emotions!
Why? All of the ingredients in this salad have health benefits for your liver
The liver is the body's largest organ, it makes many of the proteins the body needs to function as well as detoxifying substances and acting as a storage unit. It is also known as the garbage bin of the body, so if you do eat liver it's vital you buy organic!
As we learnt last week, now that Spring is here there may be residual energy build up from Winter, causing some impatience and irritability. Amanda recommended to support the liver and rid yourself of these frustrating emotions by doing a detox or liver cleanse.
Leafy greens are one of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver
as they are very high in chlorophyll which helps soak up environmental toxins in the blood stream and neutralise heavy metals and chemicals. Increasing your intake of leafy greens will help produce more bile, essential for removing waste from the body. Broccoli and cauliflower are good sources of glucosinolate, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and kale) which supports enzyme production in the liver. These enzymes help to flush toxins from the body.
Some people find kale to be a little tough. And rightly so.
Kale can be on the tough side, and is full of insoluble fibre. Which is good for you but if you have any inflammation in the gut it can be too much. So best thing to do is to massage it first. I like to finely chop the kale first then pour over a tablespoon of olive oil, then get your hands in there and massage the kale, rubbing it over and over for 2-3 minutes. What this does is softens the kale, bruises it and you'll notice the leaves softening and darkening making it easier to eat!
Lemons are fabulous for stimulating the liver, we've all heard how good it is to drink warm water with lemon. Almonds are full of vitamin E which may help prevent fatty liver disease. Plus they add a delicious crunch to the salad - and if you know me you know I love contrasts in my food!
Blueberries contain nutrients called polyphenols that may help protect you against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which can be a result of obesity and high cholesterol. I love the added sweetness of fruit in a salad, again it gives such a beautiful contrast to the other ingredients.
Avocados, a fruit we in Australia have been obsessed with for many years,
help the body produce the cleansing compound glutathione, vital for the liver to rid the body of harmful toxins.
If your eyes have glazed over and you have skim read up to now, all you need to know is this salad is good for you! The ingredients have all been picked not only to support your liver but it also tastes good.
Now you may turn your nose up at raw broccoli but you have to trust me on this one. I am the kind of person who can't eat raw carrots. Sure, if they are grated, but if you give me a whole carrot to eat I will take HOURS to chew through it. I don't know why, I do actually have teeth, but I have always been this way. But because the broccoli is thinly sliced it is easy to chew and is a really lovely addition to the salad. I've been making this salad for a while now and find the broccoli makes the salad but of course, if you can't eat the broccoli and kale raw, then you can always steam or sauté it.
Ingredients for two:
Kale - half a bunch, finely chopped and massaged with 1 tbsp olive oil
Broccoli - two large florets, thinly sliced
1-2 thinly sliced spring onions
1 avocado - scooped out in small chunks
1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup Pepitas
Handful of blueberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds - toasted
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
Tahini for drizzling
Massage the kale with the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until it is dark green and soft.
Mix all other ingredients together, season to taste
Drizzle over a teaspoon or two of tahini
Perfect served as a main, a side with a protein or on its own!