Welcome to another week of awesome deliciousness 😋. Ok, this may sound a bit cheesy, but sometimes writing the first sentence of a new blog post is truly the hardest!! This week, I have an awesome, super juicy, delicious, and crunchy salad for you – a spin on one of my all-time favorites – my mother-in-law’s Apple Celery Salad.
Please do not get discouraged when you hear the word “celery” and “salad” mixed together. I promise you this recipe will more than surprise you. Both in terms of flavor, as well as uniqueness. It tastes amazing – but it is not something I have come across in a similar form taste-wise. And admittedly, my mother-in-law’s Apple Celery Salad was also what originally changed my affinity to celery.
In my husband’s family, this salad is usually served as a course on Christmas Eve. It is so good, that in fact, we asked for it to be served at our wedding. Whereas we still try and serve it on Christmas Eve, we also eat it year-round now because… well if it is delicious and tastes good – so why not 😉?! Originally, this recipe is made with mayonnaise, but I changed it to an “Avonaise” (self-titled for Avocado-naise) to make it a bit more nutrient-dense and also accessible for all dietary requirements. In addition, you can pair this beauty with any kind of protein – meat or fish, as well as eggs or some seared tempeh. Similar to last week’s recipe Roasted Red Pepper Soup – the world is your oyster on this one 😇!
Why is my Mother-In-Law’s Apple Celery Salad good for you?
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away… well there is a lot of truth to that one! Apples are high in Vitamin C, K, and Potassium. They are an excellent source of phytonutrients, antioxidants, as well as a fiber called “pectin”. Pectin slows down how fast food moves through our digestive tract. This, in turn, allows our blood sugar levels to remain stable, especially directly after food consumption. Apples are also awesome for our gut health. Recent research indicates, that polyphenols found in apples are able to travel almost unharmed all the way through the lower intestine. It is there that they are able to positively influence our gut microbiome. In addition, apples are awesome for our cardiovascular health. When consuming apples daily, it has shown to decrease oxidized “bad” cholesterol levels and may also decrease “bad” cholesterol levels overall. By the way – in order to receive the full benefits of this antioxidant superstar – be sure to consume both the flesh, as well as the peel.
Crunchy, tangy, and – I find – rather satisfying. Celery can be a great addition to your diet! It is high in Vitamin C, but also has a lot of other antioxidants (you can learn more in The Science Behind Antioxidants), amongst others beta carotene, and flavonoids. Celery has some awesome anti-inflammatory benefits, which appear to be particularly strong in the digestive tract itself. It is believed that most of Celery’s anti-inflammatory benefits come from phytonutrients that are part of the phenolic antioxidant category. Given its amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, scientists are also looking into Celery’s ability to protect against cardiovascular diseases. Reducing oxidative stress (which is largely done on a diet rich in antioxidants) and inflammation in the cardiovascular system appears promising but further studies involving humans need to be conducted here. What we do know is that Celery loses a lot of its antioxidant power when being in the fridge longer than 5 – 7 days. It is also recommended to chop it up fresh before using in order to reap the maximum amount of nutrients.
I have not raved about this amazing superfood in a while! Avocado is rich in vitamin K, C, and E as well as potassium and folate. Avocados are anti-inflammatory and super high in monounsaturated fats, which is great for your heart health. They have also shown to decrease oxidative stress and “bad” cholesterol levels, which further supports your heart health. Most of Avocado’s phytonutrients are actually in the places you would not anticipate them – near the peel and in the pit. This does not mean that you are not getting any benefits from eating the pulp – but it does mean that you should try and scrape as close to the peel as possible 😉. A recent study has shown that carotenoids (another important antioxidant for our health), are absorbed a lot better when eaten with Avocado. This is mainly because they need a fat source for optimal conversation in the body. So avocado-up buttercup 🥰.
How can I adjust this recipe to my dietary requirements?
This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and paleo (ensure that the pickled celery is paleo conform). For a nut-free version – swap out the pecans or walnuts some pumpkin seeds.
And there you have it for this week!! There is little more to say than – I hope you enjoy this flavorsome dish and if you are not a celery lover (yet) – perhaps this will change your mind 😉. Please let me know how you get on with this dish – both in the comments below and over on Instagram. Happy chopping (and eating) everyone!!