Summer Blackberry Salad

Blackberry Jicama Salad

Vaughan and I just got back from Mexico and believe it or not I couldn’t wait to get back in the kitchen. We stayed at an all-inclusive and I have to be honest, not having to really think about dinner for a week was nice. The down side, (yes, there is a downside) is that it takes a lot of effort to maintain control over your food consumption. Everything in the world is available to eat and at pretty much all hours. PLUS, being on vacation it is so easy to fall into the “I’m on vacation, so I’m going to indulge” mentality. Oh yes… I indulged! I was actually surprised at the one thing I didn’t crave or have any desire to eat and that was bread. But I did eat well, better than I ever have on vacation before. Yet I still very much enjoyed my food.

If there is ANY piece of advice I can provide to those who are trying to eat clean while traveling it’s simply this: be conscious of what and how much you are eating. Don’t fall into the trap of mindless eating just because the food is there, which so many do. Each time we ate at a buffet (which was our only option for breakfast and lunch), I took a stroll through the buffet first before I placed anything on my plate to decide what looked the best and what I thought would taste the best to eat. Then I made one plate, no more than I would typically ate for that meal, and took my seat. I tried not to eat anything I thought would make me feel yucky after and if there was something I wanted to indulge in, I let myself (a couple desserts). But, I did only eat to my satisfaction, which was usually only a couple bites then called it done. I was conscious about how I felt as I was eating and tried not to let myself get too full. If there was something I really really liked, I went back for seconds. I never ate anything horrible and felt great the entire time. This may sound like a lot of thinking rather than enjoying, but I actually found that I kept my energy the entire time, never had that I ate too much gross feeling, and didn’t have any food hangovers. So all in all, I felt like I enjoyed my vacation more by just being conscious about eating.

But I am happy to be back in the kitchen. There is something about preparing your own food that really allows you to connect to it and enjoy it that much more. Berries are still at peak and when I went to the grocery store yesterday I loaded up! I know in a couple weeks we won’t be able to get organic berries anymore. I’ve also been craving salads. Greens are one of the summer seasonal foods so it makes sense that I’ve been wanting them. They are full of water and are very cooling and cleansing foods. This salad is very refreshing. Jicama is not exactly in season right now but you can find it in many stores as it is a root and has a long shelf life when cared for properly.


Jicama is a root that is just as good raw as it is cooked. It has a great crunch and adds texture to your salads.

yogurt1 YogurtNote About Yogurt: I know a lot of people following Paleo do not consume dairy in any form. I allow myself to enjoy yogurt because I found a great brand at Whole Foods. The main reasons that dairy is not included in the Paleo diet is because its high in sugars (lactose – which many people have problems digesting) and because of poor dairy quality. Most dairy comes from grain fed cows which produce high amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids which are inflammatory. If you can consume dairy from a grass fed cow, you get MUCH lower amounts of Omega 6’s and higher amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory). As for yogurt, in order to create yogurt, a bacteria has to be introduced into the milk which eats all of the sugars, creates a good bacteria that helps with digestion and in turn turns the dairy into a thick creamy substance that we know as yogurt. Ideally raw milk yogurt from grass fed cows would be the best type we could consume and provides us with lots of nutrients and probiotics. Plus, it hasn’t gone through all of the processing that diary goes thought. BUT, since it is nearly impossible to find raw milk yogurt, since raw milk sales have been banned and monitored in so many states, this was the next best thing I could find. I have found a place to buy raw milk and will be making my own yogurt soon. But until then, I am sticking with Tradespoint Creamery yogurt. It is Organic, grass fed, non homogenized yogurt and it tastes incredible!

The Good Stuff:

  • 1/2 apple, cut into matchsticks (I like green tart apples for this salad but either taste great)
  • 1/2 jicama bulb, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2-3 cups arugula (I prefer baby arugula)
  • 2 Tablespoons non-flavored yogurt
  • 4 Teaspoons lime juice4 Teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of flavored vinegar (I use our housemade red wine vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

The How To:

  • In a bowl, whisk yogurt, lime, oil, vinegar, honey and poppy seeds.
  • In a separate bowl combine arugula, jicama, apple and berries.
  • Toss with dressing and serve immediately

Side Note: If you want to prepare in advance, make the dressing and set in the fridge. Slice up jicama and let sit out and slice up apples and place apples slices in lemon water to keep from browning. Then combine everything when you are ready to serve.

Sliced jicama and apples…

jicama strips apple strips

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