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What’s a blended salad?

I hope 2012 has got off to a good start for you.

I enjoyed my holidays and then got into an 11 day juice cleanse from the middle of the month.  I'm feeling better for it and since I have began eating again, I have been experimenting with blended salads.

Most people have heard of a green smoothie these days.  That's where you blend fruit and greens to make a delicious and sweet smoothie that goes down a treat.

But what do you do when you want something similar but more savory?

Blended salads are the answer, or they can also be known as savory vege stews and energy soups, among other things.


Jen's blended salad ingredients

The combinations are endless, although it does take a bit of tweaking to find what's just right for you.

A good base is tomato, celery, cucumber, red capsicum and/or spring onion.

One of the secrets is to add a small amount of something sweet.  Either dates, honey or perhaps some fruit like peach, mango or apple, but in a smaller quantity than your usual green smoothie.

Other extras include herbs (like basil, coriander, dill and parsley), cumin, garlic (fresh or dried), sea veges (like dulse, kelp and nori), chilli, olives and sun dried tomatoes.

Of course blended salads are a great way to get lots of greens into your diet in a form that is easily digested and assimilated.  They can be a particularly good way of eating some of the tougher greens like kale and silverbeet, but are equally as yummy with baby spinach and cos lettuce.

If you want something a little thicker and heartier, then add avocado or a small handful of nuts or seeds.  Ground flax seed sprinkled on top is delicious too.

Other variations include topping your blended salad with chopped, grated, ribboned or spiralised veges.  This is when it will begin to resemble more of a stew rather than a plain smoothie or soup.

In the future I will work on getting together a variety of recipes for you, but in the mean time, above is a photo of the ingredients I used the other day to make one of my blended salad creations.

Below is what it looked like when I had blended it all up.


Jen's blended salad

*** WARNING - blended salads are not the most appetizing looking dishes - but the up side is no one else will want what you have and little will they know what they are missing out on!

Jen’s blended salad recipe

2        tomatoes
¼       cucumber (depending on it’s size)
2        stalks celery
¼       small red capsicum
1        spring onion
2        kale leaves (I removed the stems but this is optional)
2        medjool dates
1 tsp  kelp
handful basil leaves
small handful dules leaves
sprinkle of ground cumin
grated carrot and ribbons of beetroot to garnish and stir through when serving

A high speed blender like a Vitamix or a Thermomix are best to make a blended salad.  If you have a less powerful blender, then you may need to add one or two ingredients at a time and blend before adding the next.

Start by putting the most watery ingredients into the blender first.  That’s the cucumber, tomato, red capsicum and celery.

Give them a quick blend on a medium speed to create a liquid base to add the other ingredients to.

Next add the dates, spring onion, kelp and cumin.  Give it another quick blend on a medium speed until that is roughly mixed into the base.

Then add the kale and give it a good blend on high to break this down to the consistency you would like it.  Some prefer it smooth, while others go for chunky.

Lastly add the basil and blend quickly on a medium speed until mixed through.

Serve in a bowl and mix in the grated carrot, beetroot ribbons and dulse leaves.  Garnish with chopped spring onions.

DON’T KNOCK IT UNTIL YOU HAVE TRIED IT! (you might need to play around a little to find just what you like, but when you do you will be pleasantly surprised!)

The health benefits are many and it is a great fast food option if you are on the go and don’t have time to munch on a big salad.

click here for a more in-depth article about the benefits of blended salads by Dr Joel Fuhrman MD