The weather is finally warm enough to enjoy salads again! KDHamptons Health and Wellness Editor, Charlotte LaGuardia offers up her favorite recipe, Summer Watermelon Salad, by Melisse Gelula, co-founder of Well + Good. The original recipe can be found in the Well + Good cookbook on page 103 or below, with a few of my adaptations.
I love this recipe for not only the flavor but the combination of highly nutritious ingredients.
Watermelon, not just a childhood treat, this melon is packed with antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids, which converts to vitamin A. Additionally, watermelons contain lycopene and cucurbitacin E, which are known to support blood sugar regulation, liver detoxification pathways, and heart health! As for the sugar content, watermelon is higher on the glycemic index, meaning it is likely to raise blood sugar, however the glycemic LOAD is lower so be mindful of portion sizes and enjoy!
Watercress, a green I don’t incorporate nearly as much as I should, it is listed number 1 on the CDC’s Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables List. Additionally, it is from the cruciferous vegetable family, which is already well known for health benefits ranging from heart health to anti-diabetes.
Avocado, what more can be said about this incredible fruit! Avocado is packed with fiber and healthy fats to balance out any meal. In this salad specifically the carotenoids and lycopene along with other antioxidants present are fat soluble, meaning they require a fat present to be absorbed. If you do not have ripe avocado a drizzle of olive oil or fresh raw walnuts will do the trick!
Summer Watermelon Salad
adapted from Well + Good Cookbook, 2019 pg 103. recipe by Melissa Gelula
for the dressing
1 red grapefruit
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 pinch of sea salt
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp Manukora Manuka honey
for the salad
1 bunch watercress
1 cup arugula
1 cup spinach
2 cups watermelon, cubed
1 avocado, sliced
2 TBS mint leaves, minced
Start with the dressing, juice the grapefruit into a bowl and add the sliced jalapeños (the more seeds, the spicier it will be). Let it sit.
Meanwhile make the salad by first washing and fully drying the greens. Then tear the greens into bite sized pieces, this will start to activate the antioxidants! Arrange the torn leaves in a large bowl or platter. top with watermelon, avocado, and sprinkle with mint leaves.
With a fine mesh strainer, remove the jalapeños and seeds from the grapefruit juice. Add salt, olive oil, and honey. Mix until honey is fully dissolved. Pour over the salad and enjoy! We also recommend popping open a bottle of Mionetto Organic Prosecco to round out this deliciously refreshing Summer recipe! OPTIONAL: add a few jalapeños to the top for those who like a kick!
Surrounded by our local small farms, fresh seafood, and wineries Charlotte learned the benefits of nutrient dense foods first hand and will share her integrative approach, rooted in science, with KDHamptons readers through recipes, tips, and features on health and wellness. (Be sure to follow her on Insta @thriveeastnutrition)
Clinical Nutritionist, Thrive East; 631-374-5510