Doesn’t that look cool? I’ve seen the whole salad-in-a-jar thing on Pinterest and various blogs and thought it was about time I tried it for myself! I have to say it works wonderfully well. Presentation and practicality aside, this is a fabulous salad. It’s so quick and easy to make, tastes really good and is absolutely jam packed full of healthy ingredients.
I used to eat buckwheat a lot more often a few years ago but got out of the habit when I stopped being vegan. Don’t let the name fool you though, buckwheat is actually a gluten and wheat free wholegrain.
It found it’s way back onto my radar when I was researching the best nutrition for preventing varicose veins. As I’ve mentioned in my pregnancy updates I had started to get concerned about my legs as they were getting very achy and the veins seemed to be a lot more noticeable. My Mam and Sister didn’t develop them in their pregnancies but my Grandmother has had a lot of problems with hers and it’s certainly something I’d like to do my best to avoid. Linked to the development of varicose veins are other tasty conditions such as haemorrhoids, as both are linked to vascular health.
The magic ingredient in buckwheat is a compound called Rutin which is a bioflavonoid with antioxidant abilities. It is also found in the skin of certain fruit. Some research has shown that Rutin can improve circulation and vascular health. As I also like the taste of buckwheat I though there’s no harm in including it in my diet more often to see if it could help!
For this particular salad recipe, I combined the buckwheat with blueberries and orange, both full of vitamin C and other antioxidants, all great for vascular health as well. The feta gives the salad a lovely saltiness to counter that sweetness, and the dressing includes raw apple cider vinegar for yet more nutrient punch and extra virgin olive oil for healthy fats.
I decided to soak the buckwheat rather than cook it as it not only saves time but makes the buckwheat more digestible by partially sprouting it. I also love the texture of soaked buckwheat, it has a lovely nuttiness that works so well with the other ingredients.
- 2/3rds cup dry buckwheat
- 200g fresh blueberries
- 100g feta cheese
- Juice from one orange
- 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- The night before you want to make the salad, pop the dry buckwheat into a bowl and cover with water. The next day drain the buckwheat in a sieve and rinse well. Make the salad dressing by lightly whisking all the ingredients together. To assemble the salads get two clean jars and divide the blueberries between them, next add the feta cubed up followed by the drained and rinsed buckwheat. Pour 2-3 tbsp of the dressing on top of the buckwheat. Shred your lettuce and tightly pack it into the jar before screwing the lid on. Store in the fridge and when ready to serve just tip out into a bowl and enjoy!
- Of course this doesn't have to be made in a jar, just whack everything into a bowl or lunch box if you prefer.
- To make this vegan substitute the feta for some cubed tofu (Taifun basil tofu would work well here)
Have you tried buckwheat? What do you think of the salad in a jar idea?