Mixed green salads aren’t always considered the most exciting recipes, but when combined with my herb-forward apple cider vinegar dressing this salad recipe certainly isn’t boring!
Leafy green salads often get relegated to the side or are considered to be boring “health food” and today I’m showing you how to elevate mixed greens to their rightful place as a main course – with the help of an ACV dressing that’s as healthy as it is delicious.
I promise, after you put together this simple salad dressing recipe, you’ll want to throw out your pre-made salads and salad mixes with sugar-laden dressing full of preservatives.
I always prefer making my own salad dressing over store-bought versions, because I get to experiment and can make them exactly as I like them:)
Try this mixed green salad with apple cider vinegar dressing recipe this week (as your main entree, or as a side). Not only is this salad refreshing, 100% plant-based and made with simple ingredients, but it’s exactly as wholesome as a salad should be. :)
You’ll love the crisp radishes and the refreshing herbs and mixed greens, as well as the amazing plant protein from the avocado and chickpeas.
Plus, this delicious herb and ACV dressing is so easy to make! You can make it with basil, or a mix of basil and mint— this will give it a bit more flavor and tang. I love making basil salad dressing, especially with lemon. Lemon juice and lemon zest really enhance the flavors, and give your dressing a nice zing!
By the way, if you’re not preparing your own salad at home, you’ll notice restaurant salads are piled high with meat, cheese, and sugar-filled or dairy salad dressings. After you remove these ingredients you’re often left with a few greens and some vegetables added in sparingly.
Don’t be afraid to ask the kitchen to substitute the meat and cheese for extra veggies and greens – then, use your own salad dressing!
Getting the salad dressing “right” is often key to filling up on lots of diverse veggies, and this apple cider vinegar dressing should definitely be added to the rotation!
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
Apple cider vinegar, or (ACV) is a staple in my pantry. I use it in lots of my recipes, especially in salad dressings! ACV is a potent and popular ingredient in recipes and remedies because of its antioxidant properties and antimicrobial effects.
Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains a substance called mother, which contains additional protein, enzymes, and good bacteria. The mother in organic apple cider vinegar can give it a murkier appearance, but it definitely isn’t harming the quality of the product.
Some research indicates that apple cider vinegar is also helpful in treating type 2 diabetes and managing blood sugar. Plus, vinegars can contribute to feeling satisfied during and after a meal, which can be helpful for weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight.
I love apple cider vinegar for its detoxing benefits which helps prevent skin issues. And of course, because ACV contains important enzymes, vitamins, mineral salts and is rich in citric, malic and amino acids, it’s nourishing and beneficial for your skin. Its antibacterial properties can help kill bad bacteria and keep your skin glowing and healthy, and rebalance your natural pH thanks to the vinegar’s acidic properties.
Gut and Digestion Benefits
Fermented foods like kombucha and ACV are beneficial for your health and digestion, but it’s important not to consume them in excess. Fermented foods are very important for your gut and overall health, but it’s also important to support your physical wellbeing and diet with a good soil based probiotic (SBO) and digestive enzymes to give your health and digestion some extra oomph.
What’s the Difference Between Apple Cider Vinegar and White Vinegar?
Not all vinegars are the same, Beauties. There is actually a big difference between apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.
White vinegar is made by fermenting a grain alcohol similar to vodka, which helps that good bacteria to grow and acetic acid to form. Acetic acid is what gives vinegar its distinctive taste and smell.
Most vinegars are made from fermenting alcohol, but ACV isn’t made out of apple juice or cider. It’s actually made from chopped up apples, covering them in water, and allowing them to ferment. The bacteria from the fermentation converts the alcohol into acetic acid, creating apple cider vinegar.
Other Great Apple Cider Vinegar Uses
Although it may seem out of place to spend time talking about ACV benefits beyond the health benefits when eating it on a salad, there are so many uses outside of the kitchen I just have to share a few!
Apple cider vinegar isn’t just great in your recipes— it also has a ton of useful applications around the house, or as a remedy when you’re not feeling your best.
Because of its antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar is a popular choice for homemade cleaning products or disinfectants. Just add one cup of water for every half cup of ACV, and you have an effective all-natural cleaning product.
Similarly, you can use ACV to clean produce after you bring it home. It can kill dangerous bacteria like E.coli or Salmonella, and remove any lingering pesticides on your produce.
Apple cider vinegar is also a tried and true health remedy. Because of its antibacterial properties, ACV can be used to soothe and treat sore throats— just make sure to dilute the vinegar with water to prevent additional throat discomfort. And because it’s an acid, it’s a popular home remedy for wart removal.
Alright, now that you’ve indulged me, and have multiple reasons to stock your shelf with ACV, let’s talk salad dressing!
Vinaigrette vs. Salad Dressing
Is there a difference between a vinaigrette and a regular salad dressing? There is!
A vinaigrette is any dressing or sauce that’s made with a combination of oil and something acidic like vinegar or lemon juice. These can consist of balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white vinegar, and of course ACV.
In comparison, dressing is a more general term. It can include vinaigrettes like balsamic vinaigrette or apple cider vinaigrette as well as the thicker, more sauce-like dressings— think Ranch or Thousand Island.
A lot of store-bought salad dressings can hide a deceptive amount of fat, sodium, or extra calories in your salad. However, a homemade vinaigrette or homemade dressing is an easy and healthy way to add some extra flavor and nutrients to your salad, without adding anything undesirable.
Fresh herbs are a refreshing and delicious way to bring your recipe’s flavor to the next level. They’re super good for you too. :)
This salad dressing includes basil and/or mint, along with a few sprinkled on top as a delicious garnish.
There are more than 60 different types of basil out there, each with their own unique tang and flavor.
Basil is high in vitamins and minerals, and is rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein, which protect your cells against free radicals and keep them healthy. Make sure to eat your basil fresh to reap these benefits though— these amazing compounds go away during the drying process!
Basil can also help regulate your blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and help prevent heart disease.
I think we’re all familiar with the pleasantly cool flavor of mint. From teas to desserts to toothpaste, mint is popular for a reason. Like basil, mint is another herb that has lots of health benefits as well as being invigorating and delicious.
It is high in vitamin A and antioxidants, which is great for your eye health and your body’s cells.
The menthol in mint can also relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by relaxing the muscles in your digestive tract, and help relieve indigestion.
You don’t have to consume raw apple cider vinegar to benefit from its healthful effects. A simple apple cider vinaigrette dressing on my favorite salads is definitely preferable to drinking it down raw— at least it is for me!
Time to Prepare Your Mixed Greens and Veggie Salad
Now that you’re craving a salad— I know I am— I hope I’ve encouraged you to give this recipe a try, especially if you’ve never explored how versatile ACV is.
As you know, salads are best when you get creative and pile on the healthy vegetables and rotate your greens. This version brings a delicious crunch and flavor with asparagus and radishes. And the bitter greens add the perfect bite to complement the tang of the salad dressing!
All my love,
- 1 bunch asparagus, tender parts, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- A few handfuls of salad greens (Like kale, lettuce, radicchio, or spinach)
- A few handfuls of arugula
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- ½ avocado, pitted and diced
- ½ cup chickpeas
- Fresh herbs, for garnish (basil, mint and/or chives)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup fresh basil or a mix of basil and mint
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus ½ teaspoon zest
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more as desired
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set a bowl of ice water nearby. Blanch the asparagus for about 1 minute, until tender but still bright green. Transfer to the ice water for 1 minute, then drain. Allow the asparagus to dry and transfer it back to the bowl and add the peas.
- Make the dressing: In a food processor, pulse together the herbs, garlic, lemon juice, zest, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt.
- Add half of the dressing to the bowl with the asparagus and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the salad. Arrange the salad greens on a platter, then layer the asparagus/pea mixture, the radishes, avocado, chickpeas, and herbs. Drizzle with remaining dressing, season to taste with more salt and pepper, and serve.
More Recipes with Apple Cider Vinegar
Looking for more ways to enjoy the health benefits of apple cider vinegar? Whether you want another refreshing salad or something a little different, I think you’ll find something here that you’ll love. :)