Change things up and start adding fruit to your savoury salads. It can liven things up and add a refreshing flavour to any dish. The combo of chickpeas, orange and mint is perfect for a summer BBQ on those (seldom) sunny Irish days.
For the salad:
- 100g bulgar wheat
- 1 tin of chickpeas (400g)
- 100g feta
- 1 orange
- Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
- 2 spring onions
- Small bunch of mint
For the dressing:
- Juice of 1 orange
- 2 TBSP EVOO
- 1 TBSP cider vinegar
- Rinse the bulgar wheat under cold water before boiling in 300ml of water for ~10 minutes.
- Remove it from the heat, cover and let it stand for 5 mins. Drain off the excess liquid if needs be.
- Rinse the tinned chickpeas under cold water before adding it to the bulgar wheat.
- Chop the orange into segments and slice the spring onions.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the salad.
- Thoroughly mix the orange juice, EVOO and cider vinegar before dressing the salad.
- Decorate with a sprig of mint.
- Very rich source of fibre – reduces bile secretion, uses insulin more effectively and lowers triglycerides. Also shown to reduce the risk of developing gallstones.
- Rich in vitamin B6 – regulates hormone production and proper brain development.
- Rich source of manganese – promotes normal brain and nerve function.
- Rich in iron – required for hemoglobin formation for red blood cells, muscle function and brain function.
- Rich in protein.
- Extremely rich source of fibre. The fibre in chickpeas has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride blood levels more than other fibre-rich foods. Also, the metabolism of chickpea fibre results in the production of large amounts of short chain fatty acids which improves colon health.
- Good source of protein so it’s a great meat substitute. Protein is essential for the repair and building of muscles, cartilage, bones, skin and blood.
- Rich in antioxidants which prevents free radicals from causing cellular damage. Contains the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol and myrecetin. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties and help support brain health and circulation. Also rich in phenolic acids.
- Eating small amounts of chickpeas has been shown to improve insulin secretion and the control of blood sugar levels.
- Good source of manganese, folate, copper, phosphorous, iron and zinc.
- As most of you know, oranges are packed full of vitamin C! Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body against free radicals. Free radicals can lead to cellular damage which is a common pathway for cancer, especially colon cancer, aging and a variety of other diseases. It is also required for proper functioning of the immune system.
- Oranges contain over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which has demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-blood clotting effects.
- As a result, a diet high in citrus fruit is linked to a lower risk of cancer, stomach ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and arthritis. Some studies have shown up to a 50% reduced risk in cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
- A phytonutrient called limonin is currently being researched due to its possibly potent anti-cancer properties.
- The levels of folate, potassium and also vitamin C, provide protection against cardiovascular diseases.
- Soothing on the digestive system as it can speed up digestion and relieve cramping, gas and bloating. For these reasons it’s a brilliant natural remedy for IBS sufferers.
- Contains menthol which is a natural decongestant that can help break up phlegm and mucus when suffering from a cold or flu.
- Contains rosmarinic acid which is anti-inflammatory and can provide relief from seasonal allergies.
- Shown to prevent cholesterol build up and also reduces arterial damage caused by cholesterol.
- Improves blood flow to the heart and possibly reduces the risk of a heart attack.
- Great source of phytonutrients, especially polyphenols,
- Powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
- One key phytonutrient, hydroxytyrosol (HT), enhances the antioxidant defence of blood vessels which along with vitamin E and beta-carotene offer are hugely responsible for EVOO powerful cardioprotective effects.
- A diet rich in olive oil is linked to lower blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. This is as a result of the high levels of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, found in olive oil.