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Spinach pomegranate & orange salad

Spinach pomegranate & orange salad

I stole this salad from a newspaper and adapted it to include some protein (flaked almonds) so you’re not just getting a huge sugar spike from all the fruit.  This makes a lovely starter before a winter stew of some sort.   Or else make a big platter of it for a buffet meal.  The colours are stunning.  Pomegranates are still in season in January (they start in November in Asian shops and good greengrocers).   If you can’t get pomegranates then either increase the orange to a whole one or substitute a tablespoon of goji berries soaked overnight in clean water.

2 large handfuls baby spinach, washed and dried
1 tbs pumpkin seeds (for SC diet initial 12 weeks use almonds instead)
1 tbs flaked almonds
1/2 a small orange
A fresh pomegranate (you will use 1/4 to half of the seeds)
Dressing:
3 tbs virgin hazelnut or walnut oil (or use extra v. olive oil at a push)
Juice of 1 small orange
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of Himalayan/Atlantic Sea Salt

1. On a very low heat in a heavy bottomed pan, gently dry the pumpkin seeds and flaked almonds, until they seem dry and the pumpkin seeds are slightly swelled.  It is better to eat nuts and seeds raw but this light toasting does make them super delicious.  Remove from the heat as soon as they are slightly dried and crispy.
2. While this is happening, whack your whole pomegranate all over with a wooden spoon or a pestle for a few minutes.   This loosens the seeds.  Then cut it in half and pick out the ruby-coloured seeds.
3. Cut your orange in half across its equator, cut off the skin and pith with a sharp knife.  Cut the remaining piece in half, then slice as thickly or as thinly as you feel like.
4. Mix your dressing in a screw top jar and shake to amalgamate.
5. Now put half the pomegranate seeds, the orange, spinach, and at least a tablespoon of dressing in a large bowl and toss until coated and glistening.
6. Divide between two plates, adding more pomegranate seeds if you think there’s  not enough for your liking.  Sprinkle over the almonds and pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy…

Why this is good for you:
Spinach, like all dark green leafy veg, is rich in folic acid.  Folic acid is important for your liver, helping keep your skin clear and healthy.  Its also important for your mental health, helping reduce stress levels.  Pomegranates are high in antioxidants and the raw, virgin cold-pressed oils are a good source of omega 6 oils and vitamin E for beautiful skin.  Don’t forget to keep your virgin nut/seed oils in a cool dark place in an airtight bottle, so the delicate beneficial oils don’t get damaged.  Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of methionine (and zinc) which helps clear heavy metals and other toxins from the body.  Almonds are high in calcium and magnesium for good stress management and clear skin.