This salad returns us to our roots by encouraging scavenging (also called wildcrafting) as a way to reintroduce wild superfoods into the living process.
Though a farmer’s market is an excellent place to source freshly picked vegetables, those garden-variety plants hardly resemble their wild forbears.
Neither do we~.
And that’s kind of the point.
During the 10 millennia that we’ve been agricultural, we’ve intentionally created food plants that are sweeter, larger and easier to grow. In the process, these plants have become mostly food.
They used to be powerful medicine.
The somewhat bitter, acrid or astringent flavour of many wild foods indicates a high level of phytonutrients. Alberto Villoldo, medical anthropologist, refers to these version 1.0 plants as information-dense foods.
He writes that food plants, especially plants in their wild state, are “master regulators of gene expression in humans”, and explains that microRNAs, strands of their genetic material, travel through the body, switching on the genes that create health and turning off the genes that create disease.
Like friendly genetic custodians, moving through the corridors of our bloodstream, ensuring everything is orderly and wholesome.
The Superfood Scavenger Salad~
This salad offers 3 of the most nutrient-dense foods from our agricultural tradition: spinach, broccoli and avocado, and allies these with whatever might be growing wild near you.
The scavenged element of your superfood salad will vary depending on the season and your region. You might find superfood plants in your yard. If you live in a highly urban environment, you might have to go afield to gather these elements.
In the Pacific Northwest, in the verdant month of June, it’s not hard to locate information-dense food plants. For my Superfood Scavenger Salad I gathered dandelion greens, rose petals and salmon berries near my house.
The rose petals are domestic, but I could have ranged a bit farther to gather dog rose petals, which are wholly wild.
When investigating edible plants it is important to distinguish between those that are truly nourishing, and those that may have been used historically for survival purposes in times of famine. The latter might be quite useful in keeping people alive, but may not confer the benefits that superfood plants do, and might have undesirable side-effects.
Superfood plants can include indigenous species (like the salmon berries I picked), as well as ‘invasive exotics’ (like dandelions), or garden plants (like the rose that lives next to my house).
Possibilities near you might include edible berries, flowers, ferns, seeds, roots, seaweed or mushrooms, as well as wild greens like sorrel, nettle tops (steam them before eating~!) and chickweed.
Obviously, don’t poison yourself.
Refer to a reliable guidebook or website. In an emergency, ask the plants themselves.
Superfood Scavenger Salad (AIP & WahlsPaleo+)
- 1/2 lb (1 bunch) spinach leaves
- 1 avocado
- 1 head broccoli
- 2 cups superfood plants
First, gather your superfoods. Wash and prepare them for salad, as required.
Prepare your salad dressing (see recipe below, or use the Mason Jar Salad Dressing that’s always ready for action in your fridge).
If large, tear the spinach leaves into bite-sized pieces.
Slice the avocado.
Peel the broccoli stem if tough, and cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces.
Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss.
Let the microRNA custodians get started!
Superfood Salad Dressing
- 1/4 cup MCT Oil
- 1 teaspoon Himalyan Salt (or similar)
- 2 tablespoons fresh Herbs (such as Basil, Dill, Cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Combine the MCT Oil, Salt and Herbs in a mortar and pound with a pestle (or cut the herbs up fine & mix these ingredients in a bowl).
Add the Lemon Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar and mix thoroughly to combine.
Taste. Adjust ingredients until it tastes just right~.