Celery, Apple, and Almond salad is quick and easy-to-assemble. It will delight your taste buds. Crunchy celery and apple form a tasty union with roasted almonds and zesty lemony yogurt dressing.
Have you ever wondered how a blogger comes up with a recipe blog post? For me the inspiration comes in various forms:
- A dinner at a new restaurant
- Traveling to a new country
- Experiencing a new food/culture
- Watching cooking shows (Netflix has so many amazing shows!)
- Reading cookbooks
- Stellar ingredient finds/discoveries
Even though I often think about the nutritional breakdown of food (heck, I am a nutritional therapy practitioner so it’s sort of my default mode), it is rarely my primary focus. My goal with this blog was to remove the heavy focus on macro and micronutrients; rather, focus on the emotions and community surrounding the food and/or meal.
With that said, I find my inspiration for recipes in many ways. If I know a certain ingredient is exceptionally nutritious, it gives me one more reason to use it more often and make it taste really good.
When my family sits down to eat, I don’t weigh their minds down with nutritional data. I let them taste and, hopefully, savor the food for the flavors and textures. I want them to like the food for what it is and how it makes them feel. If it happens to also be an exceptionally “healthy food”, then that’s extra credit. The icing on the cake! In fact, maybe I should give them some cake as well! It is all about balance, right?
After listening to recent podcast about celery juicing, I was inspired to use it in more recipes. Celery is most often used as part of a mis en place such as in soups and stews. Rarely, though, does it get the spotlight as star ingredient. Apart from flashbacks of eating “ants on a log” as a child, I never intentionally ate celery. Well, 2019 Ashley is changing things up and learning to love celery as a main ingredient.
Celery Nutrition 101
Although I may not give much credit to the celery juicing fad of the past months, celery is nutrient dense. Most of us probably know celery is full of fiber, which our friendly gut bugs love. Think back to taking a bite of you “ants on a log” and the almost tug of war like battle ensued as you broke through the celery fibers. Although your jaw may get a bit tired of chewing, our gut bugs don’t. They love this stuff.
Besides fiber, celery is a powerhouse of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are made by pants and used for various functions such as plant growth, reproduction, and defense. One of the more well-known classes of phytochemicals are polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. (Source.)
Here is a list from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne’s recent post (click here for blog post) on celery juicing. She lists potential health benefits of celery against:
- cardiovascular disease
- Liver diseases
- UT obstruction
- Gastric ulcers
- Rheumatic disorders
- Increases spermatogenesis and improves male fertility
- Neurodegenerative diseases
Did you know our friendly gut bugs also help us in absorbing some of the polyphenols found in celery? Fascinating, isn’t it?! This is one of the reasons I prefer to eat my celery whole in recipes such as this salad. Juicing has its benefits, but eating the whole food provides your gut with the fiber and other benefits.
Make ahead Celery, Apple, and Almond Salad
Even though I love spending time in my kitchen, I am always looking for recipes I can prepare ahead of time to help ease my schedule. Weeknights can get very busy especially when you are trying to get your little rascals fed, bathed, and in bed at a decent hour.
Conveniently, this salad can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve. It also makes for a fantastic lunch. Pack it up in the morning and take to work with you. You can add some shredded chicken or turkey for a more sustaining meal. You could even add bacon because…um…bacon makes everything better.
If you are making this salad ahead of time, don’t add the arugula. Toss the apples, shallots, celery, and almonds with the lemony yogurt dressing and store in fridge. Before serving, toss the apple mixture with the arugula and top with lemon zest and some additional crunchy almonds. The salad will taste fresh and no one will know you made it hour ago or the day before.
Putting the Celery, Apple, and Almond Salad together
Salads are more about assembly rather than cooking. They can also very be forgiving so don’t worry much about messing up this recipe.
In order to avoid dragon breath, I prefer to slice the shallots very thin and then soak them in some lemon juice. The lemon helps cut the strong flavor, while also adding a layer of flavor to the salad.
If you are using raw almonds as I did, you will want to toast them in a dry pan on stove. You can also roast them in the oven at low temp. Watch carefully, so they don’t burn. Burnt nuts are so sad. Let the almonds cool, then coarsely chop.
As I mentioned previously in this post, this recipe can be prepared ahead of time. If you do so, don’t add in the arugula until you are ready to serve. The arugula can get very limp if mixed into the dressing too early.
Although this salad is vegetarian, you can easily add some meat to make it a more substantial meal. Add some leftover rotisserie chicken or shredded turkey. Crispy bacon or pancetta would also add a nice salty addition.
Are you looking for other similar salads? You can check out my Simple Chicken Salad recipe here.
Whether you make this salad for dinner, lunch, or your next spring time picnic, I would love to hear about it. Please share in the comment section below or tag me on Instagram (link). What did you add to your salad to make this your own recipe?
Celery, Apple, and Almond salad with lemony yogurt dressing
- 170 g Celery about 2 stalks, cut in thick slices
- 230 g Apples 2 medium apples
- 70 g Almonds about ½ c, rough chop
- 25 g Shallots 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 70 g Arugula 2.5 oz
- ½-1 tsp lemon zest
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
Dressing (makes about 2/3 cup dressing)
- 85 g Greek yogurt whole milk 1/4c + 1 tbsp
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp 14g honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground coriander
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- In large salad bowl or mixing bowl, put apples, celery, and almonds.
- In small bowl put in sliced shallots and cover with lemon juice. Let shallots sit while you make dressing. This will help cut the sharper flavor of the shallot.
- In dry pan over low heat on stove, put in ¼ tsp ground coriander. Warm until fragrant. About 30-60 seconds. Be careful to not burn. Remove from heat and set aside. Toasting the coriander helps open up flavor as well as take of edge of dry spice.
- In small mixing bowl combine yogurt, olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and honey. Taste and add additional lemon juice, if needed. Stir in lemon zest and salt. Add in half of coriander (about ¼ tsp) and stir to combine. Taste. If desired, add more coriander.
Combine Salad and Dressing
- Pour shallot and lemon juice mixture in with apple, celery, and almonds. Pour in about half of dressing and toss. Taste and add more of dressing, if desired. Everyone likes their salad with different level of dressing, so I leave it up to you. I usually use about 2/2 of dressing.