Delicious Fruit and Nut Salad for Healthy Eating

ating plenty of fruits and vegetables every day? This fruit and nut salad recipe may help you reach your goal.

By mixing fruit with other foods, the average glycemic index of this recipe is lower than the glycemic index of the fruits alone. This salad is therefore suitable for those who are sensitive to sugar and those who are aiming to lose weight.

While the olive oil is heart healthy, weight watchers might wish to reduce the amounts of oil used in the salad dressing.

"Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you ward off heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent some types of cancer, avoid a painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis, and guard against cataract and macular degeneration, two common causes of vision loss....

The latest [US government] dietary guidelines call for five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on one's caloric intake. For a person who needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain weight and health, this translates into nine servings, or four and a half cups per day".

Source: Harvard School of Public Health.

Recipe for Fruity, Nutty Salad

US/UKIngredients for a Fruity, Nutty SaladMetric
2Granny Smith or other tangy appleschunks
1 stalkcelerythin slices
1red or yellow bell pepperchopped
6green onions/shallotssliced
1/2 cupchopped apricots120 ml
2 cupscooked wild rice500 ml
1/2 cupsalad dressing120 ml
1/2 cupnuts120 ml
1/2 cupcooked beans120 ml
1/2 tspspice (see below)2.5 ml
Optional Variations in this Fruit and Nut Salad
Replace equal amounts of cooked wild rice with brown rice.
Use 2 navel oranges instead of tangerines. Chop each segment into three chunks.
Use Kiwi fruit instead of apples.
Use raisins instead of apricots.
Add 1/2 cup shredded carrot.
Replace equal amounts of parsley with mint.
Take 1/2 cucumber, cut lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Then slice.
For nuts, use cashews, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts.
For beans, use kidney beans, chickpeas, or peanuts.
For spices, use cinnamon or crushed garlic, but not both.
Notes for Making this Fruit and Nut Salad
This salad should be chilled in the refrigerator.
Just before serving add the dressing and blend into the salad.
To keep brown or white rice grains from sticking together, rinse the rice with cold water to remove any starch from the surface of the grains.
A teaspoon of oil added to the rice water will help prevent the grains from sticking together.

Preparation of Rice

  • Use 1 cup (240 ml) of dry rice to get 2 cups of cooked rice.
  • Wild rice takes about twice as long to cook as ordinary white rice.
  • Brown rice takes about 50% longer to cook than white rice.
  • Unlike white rice, wild rice and brown rice can be soaked to reduce cooking time.
  • Uncle Ben's and other packaged rice have been processed to have shorter cooking times than ordinary brown rice.

Preparation of Dressing

  • Use 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise OR
  • Stir together 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar OR
  • Stir together 1 teaspoon of dry mustard powder, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar OR
  • Blend 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1/2 cup low-fat yoghurt. If using yoghurt, the amount of lemon juice should be reduced.

Serving Suggestions

This fruit and nut salad may be served as a snack, a side dish, or an appetizer.

Source: Adapted from a recipe by Diana Mirkin. Original Fruit and Nut Salad by Diana Mirkin