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A Salad Celebrating Harvest, Hibiscus Shrub, and a Happy Gut

We’re deep in the heart of autumn in the Pacific Northwest right now, and dark nights and frosty mornings have us craving warm, hearty foods. And although we may initially be drawn to carb-tacular classics like pasta, we’re also fortunate that Mother Nature provides a bounty of food that is beautiful, delicious, and full of complex carbohydrates that keep us feeling full and nourished. This fall salad, paired with a hibiscus and orange vinaigrette, is packed with flavor, nutrients, and prebiotics (what’s that, you ask? Read on!).

Let’s talk about the winter squash that seems to be overflowing from farmers markets and Fred Meyers alike. They’re striking in their variety, texture, and color, but they have some things in common: they’re all good for you, and they’re all seriously tasty when roasted. It’s also a simple preparation that takes the hassle out of making a healthy weeknight dinner. For this recipe, we use delicata squash - you can eat the skin (no peeler required!), it’s sweet and tender, and it’s packed with fiber. Fiber is a key element in supporting gut health, stabilizing blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol levels.

Also benefiting gut health? Our trusty friend raw apple cider vinegar. By now, you may have heard a thing or two about its digestive powers (if not, check out our first blog post in this digestive health series). Raw apple cider vinegar contains the “Mother”, which is a live culture of friendly bacteria that can help you absorb nutrients and fully digest your food. Probiotics are the celebrities of the gut world, but an unsung hero you should know about? Prebiotics! Prebiotics are soluble fiber that feeds all the good bacteria in your gut; without them, the probiotics are useless! Luckily for you, the fermented apples in our vinegar-based shrub are an awesome source of prebiotics.

This autumnal salad with a simple shrub vinaigrette is the perfect way to cozy up on a fall evening - and still have the energy to head to see the sunset at the beach (bring lots of layers!).

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