3 Wild Antioxidant Rich Spring Salads and a Vinaigrette

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It’s finally spring, which means salad season has arrived. Before you find yourself in a rut – add some new flavors and combinations to enjoy this year. Adding frozen Wild Blueberries, which have twice the antioxidants of ordinary blueberries, will make your tasty seasonal green creations nutrient and antioxidant-rich. Antioxidants have been shown to protect against a variety of diseases including heart and brain disease, metabolic syndrome, and cancer. These health benefits are a result of Wild Blueberries’ high concentrations of phytonutrients, namely anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant compounds that give Wild Blueberries their deep rich blue-purple hue and powerful antioxidant capacity. Their power may be because plants that produce anthocyanins do so as a protective mechanism against environmental stressors, such as ultraviolet light, cold temperatures, and drought. This production of anthocyanins in roots, stems, and especially leaf tissues is believed to provide resistance against these environmental hazards.

Take the Wild Blueberry as an example. Wild Blueberries emerged on the desolate plain, aptly called The Barrens of Maine, Eastern Canada, and Quebec, following the retreat of the glaciers more than 10,000 years ago. Wild Blueberries survive in thin, acidic, glacial soils and thrive in cold, harsh climates. A wild plant like Wild Blueberries can’t just get up and walk away when confronted with an environmental stressor. Instead, it has evolved over thousands of years to combat stress by producing powerful phytochemicals to protect itself. These are the same natural plant compounds that protect us from inflammation and chronic disease when we eat wild foods.

Ready to start creating some delicious Wild Blue and Green combinations? Here are three easy salads that go beyond the basic greens that will help you eat healthier. And, they may even WOW your friends and family at the next picnic potluck.

Move over potato salad, there’s a new favorite in town. If you enjoy a crunchy salad, this Wild Blueberry Zoodle Bowl recipe created by Danielle Omar of Food Confidence is your new go-to. Made with spiralized zucchini instead of pasta, this salad offers a fresh and light option that includes diced jicama, grilled corn, and cherry tomatoes. Adding the frozen Wild Blueberries give a pop of sweet and tart flavor to this savory salad.

Photo credit: Vermont Creamery

This fantastic salad comes from our friends over at Vermont Creamery. They’ve recently created a Wild Blueberry, Lemon & Thyme Fresh Goat Cheese that is out of this world. While we’d eat an entire log of this cheese without the salad, that’s probably NOT the best choice. Use your favorite greens, cucumbers and some toasted almonds for crunch to keep the salad simple and let the flavor of the goat cheese shine. If you’re looking for a vinaigrette to compliment this salad, check out our Wild Blueberry Vinaigrette later in this post.

If you prefer grains, like quinoa or farro, over orzo, you can easily substitute them in this Wild Blueberry Orzo with Asparagus recipe. Not only do the Wild Blueberries add an unexpected pop of flavor in this salad, it also gives it a gorgeous purple color. Danielle Omar of Food Confidence created this recipe as her potluck and picnic go-to and we can see why! The dressing is simple and includes Wild Blueberries to make sure each bite gives you antioxidant power. Honestly, the dressing is so good that you’ll want to use it on everything, not just this salad!

Skip the dressing aisle next time you’re at the supermarket and make your own. It’s super easy, we promise! Homemade dressing is full of so much more flavor and they keep rather well, too. Give your boring salad new life with this tasty and delightful Wild Blueberry Vinaigrette. It will have you looking forward to lunchtime. This recipe is one of our all-time favorites, making it a staple during salad season.