As you may know by now, Jo and I are always looking for opportunities to nutritionally upgrade our favorite foods. If we can swap out an ingredient for something else with more nutritional value, you’d better believe we’re going to try it!
Thinking along those lines got us pondering about 4th of July BBQs and the sea of so-called “salads” that have become American traditions.
We’ve already tackled a crisp Summer Cole Slaw and now we’re moving onto another fan-favorite: Creamy Potato Salad!
But wait a second – potatoes aren’t cleanse-friendly! What’s a girl to do?
It’s true that while cleansing, we recommend keeping potatoes off our plates and we do so for a couple of reasons. First of all, potatoes – as well as eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers – belong to a food family called nightshades. Nightshades have been shown to cause joint inflammation in many people due to their high alkaloid content. Often this inflammation can be occurring on a low but steady level, which can be hard to detect until the offending food is pulled from the diet. Another reason to take a break from potatoes is because they contain a lot of starch, which can be taxing on the digestive system.
In our opinion, vibrancy goes hand-in-hand with freedom of movement and easy digestion, so potatoes have to take a back seat.
For the Conscious Cleanse remake of this much-loved dish, we’ve ditched the potatoes, salty pickles and sticky mayonnaise. Instead we’re turning to another root vegetable that doesn’t get a whole lot of action in the Standard American Diet.
After roasting, turnips have nearly the same texture as boiled potatoes. Depending on the variety, they can swing from sweet to peppery or somewhere in between. The best part of these potato stand-ins is their nutrient status. Turnips are higher in vitamin C, fiber and calcium than potatoes.
As opposed to the inflammation-causing tendencies of potatoes, turnips contain a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers inflammation and improves brain function.
Seriously, who knew?
Planning a 4th of July menu that is perfectly cleanse-friendly is actually like navigating shark-filled waters. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic (who me?) but we hope that you enjoy this festive 4th of July dish. It’s perfect for a BBQ or picnic, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Now it’s your turn! Is there a traditional American dish that you would like us to makeover? Let me know in the comment section below.
With love and tasty turnips,
Consciously Creamy “Potato” Salad
Yield: 4 cups
- 1.5 lb. turnips, peeled, and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 TB. coconut oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt, divided
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 TB. brown mustard
- 3 TB. red onion, diced
- 2 TB. fresh dill, chopped
- 1 TB. fresh fennel, diced
- ½ cup cucumber, diced
- 1 TB. fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the turnips, coconut oil, and ¼ tsp. of sea salt. Using hands, massage turnips until each piece is well-coated with oil and salt. Spread turnips on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until very soft. Stir and flip after 15 minutes.
Using the same large bowl, combine the avocado, brown mustard, dill, lemon juice, remaining ¼ tsp. sea salt, and pepper. Mash mixture together with a fork. Add red onion, fennel, and cucumber, and stir to mix.
Allow the roasted turnips to cool on the baking sheet for at least 20 minutes. When cool, gradually add the turnips to the creamy avocado sauce, mixing gently to coat.
Refrigerate entire mixture for at least 1 hour so that salad can completely cool and the flavors can meld. Serve chilled. Refrigerate in a glass container for up to 3 days.