Apple, Feta and Pecan Salad with Balsamic Molasses Dressing

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Apple, Feta and Pecan Salad with Balsamic Molasses Dressing

Positive Vitality’s Apple, Feta and Pecan Salad with Balsamic Molasses Dressing is Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Apple, Feta and Pecan Salad with Balsamic Molasses Dressing is sweet, crunchy, fresh, satisfying and super tasty. It looks very pretty, therefore perfect for special occasions, as well as just treating yourself to something nutritious and delicious 🙂


(4 portions)

  • 100g Feta Cheese
  • 1 large Apple
  • 100g Pecan Nuts, roasted
  • 100g Rucola leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Black Strap Molasses*

*Alternatively use 1 Tbsp of Raw Honey



  1. Wash and dry your rucola (arugula) leaves
  2. Wash your apple, cut quarter’s and each quarter in thin slices
  3. Prepare the dressing by combining together the molasses and balsamic vinegar
  4. In a large glass bowl place in layers: rucola, apples, feta crumbles and a little bit of dressing; ideally you want 3 layers
  5. Voila! Enjoy your salad!


Health benefits:

Black Strap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is the dark, viscous molasses that remains after maximum extraction of sugar from raw sugar cane. It has the consistency of a thick syrup, as the third boiling of sugar syrup yields blackstrap molasses. Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses contains essential vitamins and minerals — boasting a number of powerful health benefits.

Blackstrap molasses contains the vitamins and minerals that it absorbs from the sugar cane plant. Molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55, which makes it a better choice than refined sugar, especially for people with diabetes. It contains high levels of vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium.

As opposed to refined sugar, molasses has the power to naturally relieve PMS symptoms, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve bone health, treat symptoms of ADHD and boost skin health.


Apples can easily be called a superfood! They kill a wide range of cancers and keep the arteries unclogged. 

Other evidence-based medicinal properties of apple include:

  • Diarrhoea: Apple, in combination with chamomile, shortens the course of unspecific diarrhoea in children.
  • Hardening of the Arteries (Atherosclerosis): Preclinical research indicates that apple contains compounds which prevent the formation of plaque within the arteries. One rabbit study, for instance, found that apple juice was capable of preventing the progression of atherosclerosis in a high cholesterol diet-induced model of atherosclerosis.
  • Overweight: A human study found significant weight loss associated with a daily intake of three apples or three pears among overweight women.
  • Anti-Aging (Brain): Apples have been found to prevent oxidative damage and impaired maze performance,as well as decreases in cognitive performance in aging mice. Also, a study performed on mice found that apple juice actually reduced the production of pathological amyloid-beta levels (associated with Alzheimer’s disease) in the mouse brain.
  • Bowel Inflammation: Preclinical research has found that apple procyanidins reduces bowel inflammation.
  • Vaccine-Induced Toxicity: Many natural substances, including breast milk, have been found to decrease the synthetically-produced immune reaction associated with vaccines, and their adjuvants. Apple polyphenol counts among these, and has been found to prevent cholera toxin when used as an immune stimulant within vaccines from doing as much damage than it would otherwise do.
  • Periodontal Disease: We all know the sensation that follows eating an apple – that astringent property, where our gums feel squeaky clean. This is due, in part, to quercetin, which is found in apples, tea and onions, for example. It bears significant antimicrobial properties. Apple polyphenol also protects against periodontal ligament cell destruction associated with Porphyromonas gingivalis, a pathogenic anaerobic bacteria, infection.
  • Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs): AGEs are associated with the oxidation of blood sugars, primarily. These sugars becomes caramelized when exposed to oxidants, and then binds to cell structures, e.g. fats/proteins, causing damage. Apple leaves have been found to have significant anti-AGE activity, including the vasoconstriction associated with AGE-induced endothelial dysfunction.
  • Hair Loss: Remarkably, a procyanidin, labeled B-2, from apples promotes hair growth, in the cell model.
  • Staphylococcal Infections: Apple pectin has been shown to inhibit synthesis of types A and B staphylococcal enterotoxins, which can cause profound bodily damage
  • Influenza Infection: Over 60 years ago researchers found that the complex carbohydrates that make up apple pectin inhibit the infectivity of influenza A virus in chicken blood, as well in embryonated eggs, indicating its potential anti-influenza properties.

Pecan Nuts

Pecan nuts contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, and E, folic acidcalciummagnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Just one ounce of pecans provides 10 percent of the Daily Recommended intake of fiber. Pecans are also rich in age defying antioxidants.

Feta Cheese

Made from sheep or goat milk (often combined), feta cheese is a nutrient-rich option for getting the flavor you’re looking for, without the guilt. Feta is easier to digest and much less allergenic and inflammatory than cheeses from cow’s milk, which is encouraging to those of you who may be sensitive to dairy products.

One serving of feta cheese (weighing about 28 grams) contains:

  • 74 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 260 milligrams sodium
  • 1.2 grams carbohydrates
  • 4 grams protein
  • 1 gram sugar
  • 0.2 milligrams riboflavin/vitamin B2 (14 percent DV)
  • 140 milligrams calcium (14 percent DV)
  • 312 milligrams sodium (13 percent DV)
  • 94 milligrams phosphorus (9 percent DV)
  • 0.5 micrograms vitamin B12 (8 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams vitamin B6 (6 percent DV)
  • 4.2 micrograms selenium (6 percent DV)

Rucola – Arugula 

  • As in other greens, arugula also is one of the very low-calorie vegetables. 100 g of fresh leaves hold just 25 calories. Nonetheless, it has many vital phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals that may immensely benefit health.
  • Salad rocket has the ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a measure of antioxidant strength) of about 1904 µmol TE per 100 grams.
  • Being a member of the Brassica family, arugula greens are rich sources of certain phytochemicals such as indoles, thiocyanates, sulforaphane, andiso­thiocyanates. Together, these compounds have been found to counter carcinogenic effects of estrogen and thus may offer protection against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers by their cancer-cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.
  • Further, Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a lipid-soluble metabolite of indole, has the immune modulator, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties (by potentiating Interferon-Gamma receptors). DIM has currently been found application in the treatment of recurring respiratory papillomatosis caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and is in Phase-III clinical trials for cervical dysplasia.
  • Fresh salad rocket is one of the greens rich in folates. 100 g of fresh greens contain 97 µg or 24% of folic acid. When given to the anticipant mothers during their conception time, folate may help prevent neural tube defects in the newborns.
  • Like as in kale, salad rocket is an excellent source of vitamin A. 100 g fresh leaves contain 1424 µg of beta-carotene, and 2373 IU of vitamin A. Carotenes convert into vitamin-A in the body. Studies found that vitamin A and flavonoid compounds in green leafy vegetables help humans protected from skin, lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • This vegetable also an excellent sources of the B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), and pantothenic acid those are essential for optimum cellular enzymatic and metabolic functions.
  • Fresh rocket leaves contain healthy levels of vitamin-C. Vitamin-C is a powerful, natural anti-oxidant. Foods rich in this vitamin help the human body protect from scurvy disease, develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity), and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • Salad rocket is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 90% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has a potential role in bone health by promoting osteotropic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate amounts of dietary vitamin-K levels help to limit neuronal damage in the brain. It thus has an established role in the treatment of patients who have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Its leaves contain adequate levels of minerals, especially copper and iron. Also, it has small amounts of some other essential minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.



By | 2017-08-16T10:29:57+00:00 August 18th, 2017|Dinner, Lunch, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads|Comments Off on Apple, Feta and Pecan Salad with Balsamic Molasses Dressing

About the Author:

Ola Van Zyl is Owner of Positive Vitality Nutritional Therapy, Health Coach, Corporate Nutrition Specialist, Sports Nutrition Specialist and Public Speaker. Ola is a graduate of the Institute of Health Sciences in Nutritional Therapy, Dietary Counselling and Functional Sports Nutrition. She is a member of Nutritional Therapists of Ireland. In her work Ola applies the latest theories and research in nutrition, functional medicine and coaching to achieve optimum health. She works with groups and individuals, helping them to gain more energy, to lose weight, to manage stress, improve sleep quality and mood, as well as increase physical performance. Ola believes that nutrition is the key to long and vibrant live and she is very passionate about creating nutritious and delicious recipes to encourage healthy eating.