Sometimes the best recipes are the simplest ones. This salad follows my go-to formula for a quick, satisfying, and nourishing meal. Start with greens, add all the veggies, a protein, something crunchy, and something sweet. Toss with an oil, a vinegar, and salt and pepper. Add some herbs or citrus to flavor and garnish. That’s all there is to it.
Green Go Salad
- 1 c spinach
- 1 c spring greens
- 1/4 c shelled edamame
- 1/4 c celery, diced
- 1/4 c cucumber, diced
- 2 T pistachios
- 1 date, finely chopped
- 1 T hemp oil
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Combine veggies, walnuts, and date in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl or mason jar, combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Toss salad with dressing and serve.
Per serving: 389 kcal, 35 g carbs, 24 g fat, 13 g protein, 655 mg sodium, 20 g sugar
I used to be afraid of dates. They’re soft and gummy and strange-looking. I first bought and tried them when I started making Thrive recipes last year. While I still find them a little weird, they have proven to be an invaluable source of natural, easy energy for running and training. Here are five reasons why you should throw away all preconceived notions and give these sweet fruits a try:
1. They are ideal for running fuel. Dates are filled with fructose and sucrose, which are easily digestible sugars to give a steady stream of energy during athletic endeavors. Instead of packaged gels or candy, grab a couple dates. Slicing them open and filling them with almond or peanut butter makes an ideal carbohydrate-fat-protein combination for athletes.
2. They are high in nutrients. Dates are loaded with iron, potassium, vitamin A, and calcium, along with other trace minerals. A single date packs 66 calories and 16 g of sugar, so moderation is key.
3. They are high in dietary fiber. With 1.6 g of fiber per date, their high soluble fiber content is known for holding and absorbing water, which aids in easing digestion. Another benefit is their ability to prevent the absorption of LDL cholesterol and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
4. They are a good sugar substitute. The most common variation are Medjool dates, which can be found fresh or dried in most supermarkets. Their large pit is easy to remove and most specialty stores will sell pre-pitted dates for easy eating. Dates can be chopped up and used instead of other dried fruit in recipes. They can also be soaked in water and pureed to make a thin paste, which can replace other liquid sweeteners in baked goods.
5. They are a low-glycemic food. Foods lower on the glycemic index keep blood sugar levels down, which is particularly beneficial in maintaining glycemic control in diabetics. Many sugars and refined carbohydrates that we crave when we are tired trigger a release of insulin to try to maintain blood sugar levels, leading to a rollercoaster of energy and fatigue. Dates are a great option for a sweet treat that will not cause a sugar crash at 3:00 PM!
Try using dates in one of these easy recipes:
I’ve had three cans of pumpkin sitting in my pantry since last fall, just waiting to be used. I caved in and made a batch of my pumpkin chip cookies, but experimented with gluten-free flour to make them wheat-free. What I got was a fluffy and moist doughnut in cookie form. Next up is figuring out how to actually make doughnuts – I’ve got a rough plan, so we’ll see how that goes.
Pumpkin recipes never use the whole can of pumpkin, so after the cookie experiment I had half a cup sitting in the fridge needing to be used up. I didn’t want to bake anything else, and since it was really warm this weekend, I thought I’d make something frosty. I played around with the basic structure of my daily Thrive smoothies and ended up with a delicious, thick and creamy smoothie that is both a perfect indulgent dessert or healthy breakfast. The husband has been asking for them regularly ever since!
Pumpkin Chai Protein Smoothie
1 c unsweetened almond milk
1 medjool date, pit removed
1 scoop Vega One vanilla chai protein powder
1/2 c pureed pumpkin
1 banana, frozen
1 c ice
Add all ingredients to blender, in order. Blend until smooth.
Split into two glasses and share with a favorite friend.
Copyright 2016 Neat & Nutritious.
Per serving: 321 calories, 41 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat, 23 g protein, 183 mg sodium, 19 g sugar