This vibrant salad proves that your meals don’t have to be bland in the winter months. You can still eat a fresh, colorful, veggie and fruit filled salads bursting with flavor and beautifying nutrients. When I first made this salad I wasn’t sure all of these distinct flavors would mesh, but I was so surprised how delicious this combination turned out. It’s like they were meant for each other. There’s sweet, tangy, earthy, and creamy all in one crunchy, juicy dish. Now I find myself craving this salad.
Check out these fall/winter salad stars:
Beets – unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Eating beets on the reg can help regulate blood pressure, boost stamina during exercise and exertion, fight inflammation, prevent cancer, and help detoxify your blood and liver. Some nutrients may be lost when cooking, so try to eat beets raw as well, such as in juices, grated in salads, or even in smoothies if you have a strong blender (try my luscious Berry Beet Smoothie).
Fennel – crunchy raw fennel has a texture similar to celery with a faint licorice flavor. It is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, folate, and potassium, a combination that makes it great for supporting cardiovascular health and preventing strokes and heart attacks. It also contains selenium, which is uncommon in fruits in vegetables. This nutrient is important for healthy, clear skin, it reduces inflammation throughout the entire body, and decreases tumor growth rates.
Persimmons – contain 55% of your recommended vitamin A, 21% vitamin C, and are excellent source of manganese, fiber, and all kinds of antioxidants, flavenoids. These nutrients are awesome for healthy skin, and persimmons are one of the few foods studied for its ability to kill breast cancer cells.
Orange – It’s no wonder most of us associate vitamin C with oranges, 1 medium orange provides 93% of your daily needs. Taking a vitamin C supplement does not provide the same benefits as consuming fresh oranges or fresh pressed orange juice. Including more oranges in your diet provides an immune system boost, as well as protection from several types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, kidney stones, and even rheumatoid arthritis. All those antioxidants protect against free radical damage, meaning you prevent not only disease, but wrinkles and premature aging.
Arugula – 2 cups of this leafy green will provide 20% vitamin A, 50% vitamin K, and almost 10% of your vitamin C, folate, and calcium needs. Peppery arugula grows well in the fall, and requires only 3 hours of sunlight a day, making it a perfect choice for a windowsill garden as well.
The base of the creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet, oil free dressing is tahini. Tahini is my favorite salad dressing ingredient, and along with fresh squeezed orange juice, a hint of dijon, and a touch of maple, it complements this salad perfectly! It’s so good, you’ll want to lick your plate clean. Go ahead, I won’t tell.
Pretty soon, we are all going to be bombarded with candies, cookies, cakes, pies, heavy meals, and appetizer platters galore. Keep yourself feeling extra healthy and glowing from within with this crunchy, flavorful, fall-into-winter salad.
Fall Into Winter Salad with Arugula, Beets, Fennel, Orange, and Persimmon
Makes 2 large salads
- 4 cups of organic baby arugula or arugula/spinach salad mix
- 1/2 fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 2 persimmons, chopped or sliced (be sure to buy the squatty, tomato shaped variety)
- 2 medium beets, peeled and rubbed with oil, then roasted at 400 degrees until tender, then sliced or quartered
- 2 oranges, peeled and sliced or segmented
- optional toppings: raw or toasted walnuts, pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, etc
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, from about 1 orange
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- tiny pinch of salt
Roast your beets and allow to cool. Arrange salad starting with greens and adding fruits and vegetables, optional toppings, and dressing. To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together. Taste and adjust ingredients, adding more orange juice or maple syrup for sweeter, more water to make thinner, etc. I used a very mild tasting tahini made from hulled sesame seeds, unhulled tahini is more nutrient rich, but can be bitter. I like to have both on hand, but preferred a lighter tasting, sweeter dressing, so I used the hulled variety for this recipe.