Friday, September 27, 2019

Yes! You CAN Have Salads! Bladder Friendly Low Acid Salads and Salad Dressings

Everyone knows that vegetables and salads are an important part of a healthy diet. But, if you are a person with interstitial cystitis or other acid sensitivity you are probably asking yourself, “What can I put on my salads?” My answer is, “Plenty!” The fact is, salads don’t have to be acidic at all. The trick is to build the salad itself with a variety of ingredients that appeal to all of your senses so that you aren’t relying solely on the salad dressing for that burst of flavor.

Are you ready to experiment? Here are some ideas to try:
  • Use a variety of greens to add flavor and texture to your salad. The color variations of the greens signify different nutrients! 
  • Toss chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, oregano, fresh mint, or thyme) into the salad greens for a surprise burst of flavor in every bite.
  • Add sliced avocado to salads. Not only does this add a creamy texture to the salads, it provides you will healthy fats. 
  • Grow your own low-acid salad tomatoes. Ask your local nursery to suggest varieties that grow well in your area or visit local farmers' markets to sample different types. The small yellow pear tomatoes are a great start, low in acid and very sweet!
  • Top your salad with roasted onions, corn, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, or summer squash for extra flavor and color. The more color the better! 
  • Boost your salad’s flavor and nutrition by adding fruit. Mild apple or pear slices, blueberries, and dried fruit are all tasty choices.
  • Throw in some beans, legumes, nuts, or seeds for extra flavor, texture, added protein, and healthy fats.
  • Substitute blueberry juice, pear juice, or peach nectar for vinegar in homemade salad dressings.
  • Make creamy dressings starting with a base of mild yogurt or blended cottage cheese and adding fresh or dried herbs, garlic, onion powder, chopped fresh mint, lemon zest, and/or salt to taste.
  • Finally, when in doubt, try using Prelief to lower the effect of the acidic foods on your body. But I promise you, once you get used to designing these flavorful, colorful, and nutritious salads, you will never go back to plain old iceberg lettuce and vinaigrette again!
Here are a couple of recipes from Confident Choices®: A Cookbook for Interstitial Cystitis and Overactive Bladder to get you started:

Pear and Honey Coleslaw

1 hard (partially ripe) pear
2 c. shredded white and red cabbage
1/2 c. shredded carrots
1/2 t. finely chopped mint, if desired
1/2 c. pear juice
1 t. lemon zest
1 T. honey
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. pepper

Peel, core, and grate pear to equal 1/2 cup. Combine with cabbage and carrots. Place mint, pear juice, canola oil, lemon zest, honey, salt, and pepper in blender and mix until well blended. Pour immediately over vegetables and toss. Refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours, stirring occasionally to blend flavors. May also be served as a hot salad by microwaving for 30 seconds per serving.

Basil Blueberry Non-Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

1 c. frozen blueberries, partially thawed
1/2 c. organic, pure blueberry juice
1/2 c. olive oil
1 t. lemon zest
1/2 t. sugar
2 t. finely chopped fresh basil (may substitute thyme)
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper to taste (as tolerated)

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend using one-second “pulses,” checking consistency after every couple of pulses. May also be made without using frozen berries. Simply increase juice to 1 cup.

Julie Beyer, MA, RDN
Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate

Just Tell Me What to Eat!

For step by step guidance for creating your own personal interstitial cystitis meal plan, see: Confident Choices®: Customizing the Interstitial Cystitis Diet.

For some basic, family-style, IC bladder-friendly recipes, see: Confident Choices®: A Cookbook for Interstitial Cystitis and Overactive Bladder

For health care workers:  Interstitial Cystitis: A Guide for Nutrition Educators 

1 comment:

  1. Bladder burned all night after eating a salad. Prompted this search for a mild salad dressing. Found this info. Have saved the link. Thank you.