Dried Fruits and Fresh Blue Salads

Quick and easy, pairing dried fruits with cooling blueberries on a bed of mixed greens offers a pleasantly sweet salad while still cleansing you with lots of freshness. Easily customizable with any dried fruits you may have on hand, the following are two variations I’ve tried!

Dried Orange-Slice and Blueberry Lemon Zest Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups raw lettuce leaf blend of your choice
  • 6 dried, unsweetened orange slices
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup pre-roasted almonds
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • cardamom to taste
  • nutmeg to taste

Special equipment: citrus zester

Prep time: 5 minutes
Yields: 1 serving

Preparation:

  1. Plate lettuce leaves with orange slices, fresh blueberries, and roasted almonds.
  2. Rinse, dry, and zest lemon directly over the salad.
  3. Sprinkle with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and spices to taste. Enjoy your very delicious salad.

Dried Apple Slice and Rosemary-Blueberry Maple Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups raw lettuce leaf blend of your choice
  • 6-7 dried unsweetened apple slices
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • cinnamon to taste
  • nutmeg to taste

Prep time: 5 minutes
Yields: 1 serving

Preparation:

  1. Top plate of salad-leaves with apple slices, fresh blueberries, and desiccated coconut.
  2. Drizzle maple syrup.
  3. Sprinkle with rosemary, and cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Enjoy your ready-to-eat salad!

Yasmine’s notes:

Speaking specifically as one who loves sweet foods, but also has to be mindful of the sugars she cooks with (both for herself with her own neuropathy and for diabetics in her household), I regularly calculate not only what kinds of produce I use, but just how much extra-concentration of sweetness I can use with them as well.

Adding extra fire to anything by cooking, concentrating, and/or drying it out (i.e. stripping it of its inner water content, such as in dehydration or freeze-drying processes) naturally sweetens the food. Hence, you have such culinary terms as “caramelization”: you’re literally bringing out the ‘caramel’ and enhancing the sugars by adding heat to it!! And while this is fine to consume in moderation, it often helps to balance the extra-sweetness of such foods with a little extra water and freshness in turn… literally, so that your body can handle processing the sugars easier, and you still feel full. In the case of dried fruit salads, I’ve found pairing them with watery mild fresh blueberries to be especially fitting and accessible for me— but you may also consider other naturally watery, milder produce as well!

You may try cucumbers, dragon fruit, steamed bitter melon even (if you’re willing to contrast some super-bitter with your sweet!) as well as fresh, billow-leafy, mild herbs such as basil and sorrel to cool things down.


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