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Raw Veggie and Arugula Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Samantha Serpe

This salad just screams summer! It's fresh, delicious and uses fruit that is in season, strawberries. We also love that the salad is made up of completely raw veggies (more about that in a bit). But first, let's talk about how great strawberries are.

While strawberries are available year round, they are truly synonymous with summer and are best eaten in their season, which is April through August. We love them dipped in chocolate, pureed for our yummy Strawberry Chia Seed Jam or just by themselves. Today we are using them in a salad dressing. These red berries are bursting with nutrients: they have potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate, folic acid, Vitamins A, and C, as well as they, are a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Strawberries have been known to aid in the reduction of inflammation, heart disease, and blood pressure. These berries are definitely worth adding to your daily diet!

Now, let talk about the benefits of eating raw. We are not saying you need to be on one, we aren't even on one. We are just saying that adding some raw foods into your daily life can greatly improve your health. And what better and easier way to eat raw foods, than in a tempting salad like this one.  I know what you are thinking, that raw foods can upset your tummy. Believe it or not, raw foods are actually easier for our body to digest. Cooked foods can often destabilize some of the enzymes that are needed for digestion. However, you don't want to jump in with both feet and start eating everything raw, that will upset your tummy. You want to ease into it. Try adding in a raw salad or some raw veggies. Raw foods can help alkaline the body which we all want because when our body is in an acidic state, disease develops more easily. In addition to this salad, try adding into your diet some seeds (sunflower, sesame or pumpkin), avocados, berries, nuts or some sea vegetables like kelp and nori. 

Ingredients:

Servings: 2 entree salads

Raw Veggie Salad:

5 oz. Arugula

1 cup Asparagus, chopped

1/2 cup Radishes, sliced

1/2 cup Jicama, chopped

1 Avocado

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 heaping cup fresh strawberries - hulled

3 T balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup EVOO

1/2 tsp.  raw honey

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 T fresh chopped basil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

1.) For salad dressing: Blend all ingredients except salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let chill while you prepare the salad.

2.) Wash the veggies well (except the Arugula, this usually comes washed) and place in a large salad bowl. Toss with the Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette and enjoy!