cherry_salad1It really feels like summer is here on the South Coast of England, around the Sussex Kent borders, when you’re driving through the country side there are cherries and strawberries being sold at the side of the road every few miles. This summery cherry salad says ‘Yes the summer is here summer’!

Inspired by a recipe in one of my favourite cookery books – Green Kitchen Travels, I made a few adjustments and came up with this delicious cherry salad. Fruit added to salads makes for a nice surprise for the taste buds. I love coming across a little bit of sweetness among the savoury vegetables and sometimes bitter herbs.

Eating healthily for me means that I feel more alive, more productive, have more energy and am a happier me. I also truly believe that healthy doesn’t mean bland, boring, tasteless meals and certainly in this recipe healthy means delicious!

Cherries are a wonderful fruit and carry a certain element of nostalgia for me. As a child I remember going cherry picking and playing with them by fashioning them into earrings. We’ve all done that right? Childhood aside, here is the grown up bit about cherries. They are amazingly rich in phytochemicals such as anthocyanin – which gives cherries their beautiful dark red colour and quercetin, both of which which have strong antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, as well as vitamin C, fibre and cartenoids. These incredible nutrients have been found to have cancer-preventing properties as well as being beneficial for cardiovascular disease, arthritis and gout.

In this recipe I have combined some celery, cucumber, parsley, cherry tomatoes with some nuts and seeds for an excellent nutritionally rich tasty lunch time salad.

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Summer Cherry Salad

Ingredients:

{serves 2 for lunch or 4 as a side salad}
2 stalks of celery
10cm piece of cucumber
a generous bunch of parsley
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
2 handfuls of pitted cherries
1 small handful of a seed mix – I used pumpkin, sunflower and pine kernels
4-5 walnut halves, broken into smaller pieces
a squeeze of lemon juice – adjust to taste
a drizzle of Olive Oil – approx 1 tbsp

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References:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/02/health-benefits-cherries.aspx

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cherry-fruit.html