I don't know about you, but summer feels like it has gone by in a flash again this year. There has been a subtle shift in the air, with temperatures in my neck of the woods easing off a bit and the humidity finally breaking. Can I get a "Hallelujah!"? Even though there is still a good month left of official summer, to me there is now a tiny hint of fall in the air. The bonus of the end of summer (okay, OTHER than the kids finally going back to school)? It's still peach season!! So, why not make the most of what's left of it with a beautiful salad that blends the best of both seasons? Sweet summer peaches and hearty sweet potatoes!
Peaches are one of my absolute all time favourite fruits. Not just because of the cute fuzz that covers them and the glorious sweet taste, but because of the pretty awesome nutrition they provide. Peaches are a good source of carotenes (the precursor to Vitamin A) and flavonoids (plant compounds that provide immense anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer protection for the body). Specifically, peaches are high in lycopene and lutein which helps given them their orange colour. These two phytochemicals are especially good for preventing macular degeneration , heart disease and cancer.
Our other orange ingredient, sweet potatoes, are also pretty dang fantastic. Like peaches, they're an excellent source of carotenes and flavonoids, as well as vitamin C, B vitamins, manganese, copper, biotin, and dietary fiber. They contain powerful antioxidants. One study even showed that the proteins contained in sweet potatoes had about 1/3 of the antioxidant activity of glutathione - one of the body's internally produced antioxidants (also known as the "master antioxidant"). Sweet potatoes are also a good source of resistant starch, meaning they're not as easily digested as other starches, so they provide amazing prebiotic (or good food) for our good gut bacteria.
Now, some people get worried about the carbohydrate content of sweet potatoes. But I can assure you there is nothing to fret over. Sweet potatoes are often called the "antidiabetic" potato and studies have shown that it actually helps stabilize blood sugar levels and improves the response to the hormone insulin. So don't skip out on these orange beauties!
Alright, I'll stop it with my "geek" nutrition info and give you the goods!
I hope you love this beautiful end-of-summer salad as much as my family does. The beautiful orange, red and green is so reminiscent of the glorious fall display of colours that will soon be upon us.
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If you're looking for more delicious and easy recipes, check out my Quick 'n' Easy Meal Plan for an entire week's worth of nutrient-dense recipes, a shopping list and preparation guide. Get in, get nourished, and be on your way in less than 30 minutes per meal!
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Jill Taylor is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of two pretty awesome teenagers, s very dramatic dog, a hedgehog and a snake (yikes!). Jill assists her clients in achieving true wellness through thoughtful and compassionate dietary and lifestyle coaching. Feel free to visit the "Contact" page to get in touch. Jill would love to hear from you!