Sometimes when you hear the word “healthy” or “diet” you somehow imagine someone sitting alone starving and eating a miserable salad. I like to eat healthy, but I’m not a huge fan of salads. Secret fact: I actually only like Caesar salads, eek!! Caesar isn’t exactly the healthiest salad ever, boo. I find that I love all the “stuff” on a salad and it’s kind of brought down by the lettuce. I love this salad because it’s healthy and very satisfying!
I was inspired to make this when I was watching Dr. Oz the other day. He explained that fennel is a great source of fiber, folate and potassium that helps with digestion and reduces cholesterol. I was intrigued by this and decided to give fennel a shot. Since everything published on the internet must be true, here are a few links if you would like to learn more. (World’sHealthiestFoods.Org, or LiveStrong).
I’ve heard claims that raw vegetables are healthier than cooked and that some of the nutrients are cooked out when heated. I’m not a nutritionist or expert, but I kind of believe it to be true. Besides, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy fresh veggies in their most natural state? I wanted find a way to incorporate fennel into my diet while preserving as much of the nutrients as possible. So I put this yummy raw salad together.
Here’s another fun fact: Jelly Belly’s are my favorite candy! I love all the different, real life flavors in each pack. A few years ago I visited the Jelly Belly factory in Napa, on the tour they told us that one of the top flavors was black licorice, YUCK!! Fennel is infamous for tasting like black licorice. Cooking them definitely mellows out the flavor a bit, but we’re back to the whole nutrient loss thing, and you know how I feel about that. Citrus is a GREAT flavor pairing for fennel so that’s exactly what I did here.
When I finished making this, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect (because of that black licorice flavor, remember?) and I was so surprised at how delicious, bright, light, and flavorful this salad was. The honey adds a nice sweetness that ties everything together.
Ingredients: 1 large fennel bulb 1 large green apple 2-3 medium-sized oranges (I used 6 organic minneola’s from Trader Joes) 1 tbsp honey 1 tsp flaked salt (or sea salt) 1 tbsp chopped parsley
Using a mandolin slicer, thinly shave your fennel.
Quarter your apple and thinly shave using your mandolin to approximately the same thickness as the fennel
Zest 2 oranges and set aside. Using a small knife, peel your orange so that all of the white pith is gone leaving only the orange flesh. Glide the knife along the membranes of the orange and cut out orange segments. TIP: I cut my orange segments out over a medium bowl to save the juice to be used as dressing for this salad.
Mix the fennel, orange, and apple together in a medium bowl, add orange zest, honey, salt and parsley. Mix until combined. (It’s that simple!)