The world is your lectin-free, wild-caught oyster when it comes to lectin-free salads and lectin-free salad dressing recipes. There are so many things you can create with a food processor, fresh lectin-free ingredients, and good taste.
Of course, if you don’t have a food processor, no problem. There are still ways to create a luscious, flavorful lectin-free salad dressing. Delicious ingredients abound. And there are just so many ways to vary your meals with lectin-free ingredients. You’ll never want to taste ranch dressing again once you discover all the delicious lectin-free dressings you can make.
These lectin-free salad recipes are healthy, yet still delicious. Try these lectin-free staples today, plus learn a bonus lectin-free salad dressing recipe.
Dietary Lectins And Your Health: What Are Lectins And What Are The Health Benefits Of A Lectin-Free Diet?
Plant-based diets are getting a lot of buzz right now — and for good reason. Not only are they relatively good for you, but they’re also good for the planet. But if you think dietary lectins might prevent you from digging into a plant-based diet, think again. Once you know which plant-based foods contain lectins, they’re easy to avoid. So, what is a lectin?
Put plainly, lectins are the first line of defense for Mother Nature and her babies. Lectins are plant proteins meant to dissuade predators of plants — like animals and people — from coming back to eat that delicious plant in the future.1
Lectin-free plant foods are still as healthy as you’ve always believed fruits and vegetables to be. But lectin-rich vegetables and fruits can lead to some serious upsets when it comes to your health. The lectins in sugary fruits and seed-filled vegetables can actually be so toxin they essentially poison you.
Take ricin, for example. Ricin is the lectin that protects castor bean plants. It’s so toxic, it has actually been utilized as a weapon in biological warfare.2 Would you want to eat a weapon?
Now, different lectins tend to have different amounts of toxins. And many times the negative effects lectins can bring are felt more intensely if you are lectin sensitive. So pay good attention to the foods you are eating and look for the right foods to avoid.
Let’s get you started with your lectin education: read on to see which foods you should mostly avoid.
What Foods Should You Steer Clear Of On a Lectin-free Diet?
Grains – Grains are a staple food for many people all over the world. However, most grains are full of harmful plant lectins. In fact, you’re probably familiar with the most popular gran lectin: agglutinin.3 Grains may be easy to make, but you’re better off without most of them. If you must eat grains, look for sorghum and millet (two tasty lectin-free grains).
Legumes – All kinds of beans, peas, and lentils contain lectins. They’re okay in moderation IF you prepare them properly to reduce their lectin content — try pressure cooking your beans and lentils to rid them of their dangerous lectin content. Kidney beans that aren’t prepped in the right way could actually raise the chances you might experience digestive health concerns.4
Lectin-Heavy Fruits And Vegetables – Now, there are wonderful vegetables out there that should make up the majority of your ingredients in meals. But, there are some lectin-rich culprits too. In fruits and veggies, you’ll often find lectins in the peels, rinds, and seeds. So, if you have to consume lectin-rich fruits make sure they’re in-season and eat them in moderation. And always peel your fruits and veggies and ditch the seeds.
When dealing with lectin-heavy vegetables like nightshade vegetables — just ditch them completely. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and other nightshades should be ignored.5
Lectin-Free Avocado, Tuna, And Celery Salad: This Delicious Salad Contains Avocado Oil And Red Onion
When you’re in the mood for a protein-packed salad, but still want to eat something fresh, bright, and light, this is the salad for you. It’s so easy to make and it tastes great. You can serve it over a fresh bed of greens, or even use it as a dip with some homemade sweet potato chips.
What You’ll Need:
- 6 cans wild-caught tuna in water (30 oz)
- 3 celery spears (diced)
- 4 avocados (diced)
- 1 medium red onion (diced)
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 4 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp sea salt
What To Do:
- Add your tuna, diced celery, diced avocado, diced red onion to a big bowl. Mix until well incorporated.
- In a separate small bowl, add your lemon juice, avocado oil, salt and pepper. Whisk until your ingredients are well-combined.
- Who needs ranch dressing? Drizzle your homemade lemon dressing over your tuna salad. That’s it. Toss and serve!
You can also substitute the dressing with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. Tahini salad dressing is another great substitute here — it’s so good with tuna. Simply combine tahini with a little olive oil and add lemon to taste.
Green Mango Lectin-Free Salad: This Salad Is Plant-Based And Is Even Made With Vegan Salad Dressing
This salad is so fresh and tangy. The mango should not yet be ripe. Once you make this salad, you’ll never go back to boring old lettuce and ranch or caesar salad dressing again.
What You’ll Need:
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- Juice and zest of 2 limes
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 packet stevia
- 1 shallot (sliced thin)
- 2 large unripe shredded mangos
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 shredded carrot
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- ¼ cup chopped macadamia nuts
What To Do:
- In a big bowl, whisk together your coconut aminos, lime zest, lime juice, coconut milk, dijon mustard, sesame oil, and stevia. Emulsify until well-incorporated.
- Add your shallots and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Then add your mango, cabbage, carrot, cilantro, and mint. Toss until well-combined.
- Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve topped with macadamia nuts. Enjoy!
Lectin-Free Salad Dressing Recipe: Five Minute Lemon Cilantro Dressing
This tasty dressing is akin to a green goddess dressing. It’s so delicious — and guilt-free. It’s also good with a teaspoon of garlic powder added in.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 cups cilantro
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon iodized sea salt
What To Do:
- Add the chopped cilantro, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and sea salt to your blender or food processor. Blend the mixture on high until well-mixed.
- Drizzle it all over your favorite salad or use it as a dipping sauce!
Lectin-Free Salads Add Variety And Flavor To Your Meal Plan
In the end, it’s good to know how much you can do with lectin-free foods. Each of the recipes listed here can be altered with smart substitutions. Play around until you get these dishes just the way you want them.
These salads are just the beginning. Think of them as a foundation for any other kind of salad you might want to create. You can make them each week, and if you alter a couple of ingredients each time, you’ll really never have to eat the same thing twice. Enjoy!