I hope you are enjoying all of those beautiful spring flowers that we have been patiently waiting for! One of my favorite things about late spring in Ohio is the frequent rain. Did you know that the negative ions generated during a thunderstorm have a regenerative, relaxing effect on our moods? Some people even call negative ions “the vitamins of the air”. Just one more way Mother Nature nurtures and amazes. These naturally occurring systems benefit us all in ways we have not even discovered! And that unique smell that permeates the air after the rain? There is a name for it, petrichor: derived from the Greek words for stone and the fluid that flows through the veins of gods. Think of it as the smell of spring!
Speaking of spring, have you been eating your greens? The resurgence of green in most areas is the harbinger of May and June, so hopefully you have been taking advantage of it! The best place for fresh greens? Of course your local Heinen’s store, which turns into a local farmer’s market this time of year, supplying you with local produce and information about many of the growers with whom they do business. Local is good because there are fewer resources expended to transport the food, and it arrives sooner. This means fresher food that is better for you and better for the planet.
I encourage you to try something you haven’t before—all greens do not taste the same. And as most of you would agree, the dressing helps to make the salad. Luckily, it is very easy to make your own delectable salads and dressings (see the recipe below). I like to munch on different seasonal greens, along with lemon juice and fresh herbs. Delicious!
Here is a recipe from my book, Eat Yourself Super to get you started:
Spring Greens Salad
- 8 oz. mesculin greens
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium red beet
- 4 large radishes
- 2 green onions
- 1 1⁄2 lemons
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Add your favorite sprouts and sprinkle some chia seeds on top for a complete meal. Also, fresh herbs are great on this salad. Some of my favorites include: ramps, dill, basil, oregano, and thyme. Use lots of herbs, for example: add 1 cup chopped basil or 1⁄2 cup of the others listed to the above.
In a sealable jar, mix together the olive oil, juiced lemons, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt and pepper. Top the greens with grated beet, carrot, and radishes then top with sliced green onion, dress and toss—yum! This is one of my personal favorites. Oftentimes, I will just leave off the dressing and squeeze a lemon right on with some fresh herbs and maybe a pinch of sea salt. Another awesome dressing for this salad is 4 tbsp. Nama Shoyu, 2 tbsp. flax oil, pinch of sea salt—toss well.
Try using some of the delicacies only available this time of year, such as fiddleheads, morel mushrooms, and ramps. Throw the ramps right into your salad or sauté any or all of the above with a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy them warm on your salad!
Now take your salad outside and enjoy!