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Do you want in on a little secret? Like Clark Kent, this potato salad might appear pretty normal, even average, on the outside.
It has potatoes, green onions, a creamy dressing, and even some fresh herbs for those of us who like extra pizazz and who aren’t content with just potatoes in a salad. But on the inside, this potato salad is far from average. You might even say that it has some mighty superpowers. Superfood superpowers, that is.
For one thing, this velvety creamy potato salad is completely dairy-free. Say what? That’s right, you can ditch the mayo, sour cream or whatever else you usually put on your boiled potatoes and try this dairy-free dressing on for size. Made from an easy blend of soaked cashews, water and lemon juice, there’s not a dribble of dairy or a lick of lactose anywhere in sight.
I’ve mentioned some of the health complaints and conditions associated with eating too much dairy in the past. Not only is this dairy-free version of potato salad infinitely healthier, but it’s perfect for outdoor picnics, potlucks or other fun events with your family or friends this summer where you might not have access to all your usual kitchen amenities… like a fridge.
For another thing, this dairy-free potato salad is packed with a special superfood ingredient called purslane. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it. But do worry if you can’t get your hands on some.
You can sometimes find purslane at farmer’s markets, but the easiest and best place to find it might be in your own backyard. Even if you don’t have a garden and especially if your backyard looks like an unkempt jungle. And by the way I’m not judging you one bit. In fact, you probably have the best crop of purslane going!
How’s that you might ask?
Well, you guessed it: purslane is a weed. A mighty fine weed with benefits, you might say, because I do! The truth is, many weeds are pretty shy about touting the benefits of their health assets. But many weeds have spectacular health benefits… beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
Purslane holds a special place in my heart. Culinary wise, its leaves are juicy, even succulent, with a crunch and bright, lemony flavour. It’s delicious!
Health wise, it’s a plant high in potassium, vitamins A and C and some of the highest values of omega-3 fatty acids. Great for vegetarians, vegans or others who have chosen not to consume any animal foods. Although our bodies can’t always convert these plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids into a usable form as well as it can those from animal foods, they’re still essential for so many things. I have covered the gamut of omega-3 supportive conditions in the past here and here.
A few notes of caution: purslane can be high in oxalates so those susceptible of developing kidney stones or related conditions are wise to moderate their intake, along with other oxalate-containing foods. Pregnant women should also have a chat with their doctor as purslane can occasionally help stimulate uterine contractions.
When harvesting purslane, be 100% confident about your identification before picking. Purslane happens to have an evil cousin that not only looks like it, but also grows near it, so it can sometimes be hard to distinguish the two. It’s called spurge. One of the biggest differences is the shape and thickness of the leaves. With purslane, the leaves are thicker and more plump, while spurge leaves are thinner and flatter. I don’t find they look much alike anymore but I’ve been eating purslane for years… so maybe it’s improved my eyesight?
If adding purslane weren’t enough, the herbs in this salad also boost its nutritional value. Parsley is rich in vitamin K, which helps support healthy teeth and bones, as well as support digestion, mainly through helping to reduce inflammation in the bladder and kidneys. Lemon balm, with its bright and vibrant flavour, is one of my favourite herbs to use fresh. In large or concentrated amounts, lemon balm is commonly used clinically for insomnia, anxiety and stress-related conditions.
Here’s the recipe for my Dairy-Free Potato Salad with Purslane and Fresh Herbs:
Dairy-Free Potato Salad with Purslane and Fresh Herbs
For the Salad:
- 1 3/4 lbs . potatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions about 3 large
- 1/4 cup purslane leaves roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp lemon balm roughly torn
For the Dairy-Free Dressing:
- 1 cup soaked cashews soaked min. 3 hours
- 1/4 cup water
- 3-4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste
Wash and chop the potatoes into medium-sized pieces.
Add to boiling, salted water and cook for 25-30 minutes or just until tender. Add to an ice bath and then drain.
Make the dressing by blending the cashews, water and lemon juice in a high-powered blender until smooth. A regular blender should work but it may not be as smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Pour the dressing over the drained potatoes. Add the green onions, purslane and other fresh herbs. Toss gently until the potato salad is well combined.
Will you be brave enough to try something new and give dairy the boot with this dairy-free potato salad with purslane and fresh herbs?
Clark Kent could come knocking at your door in no time.
Life is a plate… Eat up!