The sun is beaming outdoors, the sky is pure blue, and your taste buds are craving something refreshing. Reaching for a sugary lemonade or a bowl of ice cream might feel cool and refreshing, but momentarily cause you to become thirsty. The high amount of sugar and chemicals not only spike your blood sugar, but cause you to get thirsty. This colorful salad is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and aids in satisfying cravings when ice cream treats are in season. Try it with different vegetables and toss in some blueberries if you’d like. There are no restrictions–substitute ingredients to suit your taste buds.
Figs, mentioned in both the Qur’an and Sunnah, come in a variety of colors, including the popular green or purple. They all contain wonderful health benefits, ranging from a very high percentage of fiber to B vitamins. Figs have been proven to lower insulin levels, have cardiovascular health benefits, and even protect against macular degeneration! You are not limited to eating carrots to take care of your eye health. Figs also decrease the risk of colon cancer, thanks to the wonderful amount of dietary fiber. Figs lower blood pressure, the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, and are great for those who suffer from constipation. In fact, I always advise my clients to take the holistic route whenever possible. If you are constipated, instead of quickly rushing to take medicine, full of side affects you may or may not see instantly, go for something natural. Eat prunes, figs, and any whole food high in dietary fiber. Your body may take time to adjust, but you sure will see positive results.
Try this simple summer spinach salad, full of fresh figs that will satisfy your sweet tooth and quench your thirst, too. It’s fairly simple to make, and requires minimal preparation time. I enjoy it as lunch the second day, if it even lasts. It’s very high in fiber, vitamin K, B vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids if you decide to add the raw walnuts. Drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil for a boost of healthy fats, and satiety.
This salad goes wonderfully alone, or with a simple homemade dressing. If you’d prefer it moister, drizzle olive oil, a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar, ground rosemary, and ground ginger, too. Toss it well to ensure that it’s mixed, and enjoy!
If you cannot find fresh figs locally, or would love to make this salad outside of fig season, you can use dried figs. However, I’d advise that you be cautious when purchasing any dried fruit, including figs. If you see sulfur dioxide on your label, keep it at the store instead. It’s a preservatives added to prunes, dried apricots, figs, and other dried fruit. It’s known to have negative health connotations, and I advise my clients and friends alike to go with organic if possible. They may not preserve as long, which is natural anyway. Purchase a little at a time and enjoy every bite, or simply freeze them to last longer. Try this salad recipe for a change, and you’ll undoubtedly find yourself making it often from then onward. It contains a myriad of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and great taste.
4 cups organic baby spinach
1 organic yellow bell pepper
1 organic red bell pepper
12 fresh figs
Raw walnuts (optional)
Chop the baby spinach into chunky pieces and transfer to a serving platter
Wash the bell peppers; dice and sprinkle atop the spinach
Wash the figs well. Slice them into quarters and add them to the bowl
Sprinkle with raw walnuts. Best if served immediately
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, SUNNAH SUPERFOODS, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.