Sardines are my all-time favorite Real Food and not-so-secret, superpower! They are, in my opinion, the ideal food in many ways: convenient, nutrient dense, portable, versatile, and sustainable. In general, fish is such an excellent source of protein and fats, and sardines are at the top of that list for many reasons. Being such a small fish, consumers don’t have the same worries about mercury and heavy metals from consuming lots of sardines, as opposed to larger fish. Sardines are also one of the highest bioavailable sources of the essential omega-3 fatty acids! Sardines come conveniently packed in a can making them great for traveling, picnics, sack lunches and more! Throw them in a salad, like this Creamy Sardine Salad, and you have a full meal in just a few minutes.
Nutritional benefits of sardines:
- Sardines are one of the best natural sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which is important for reducing inflammation
- Omega-3 fatty acids are also known for improving unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels leading to a healthy cardiovascular system
- Sardines are loaded with Vitamin B12, a common deficiency, which is important for proper nerve, cell, and brain function
- Packed with Selenium, an important trace mineral and antioxidant that helps to prevent oxidative stress
- One of the best food sources of Vitamin D, which is important for a healthy immune system, mood disorders and bone health
Many people tell me that they just “can’t do sardines”. I always ask, “when was the last time you tried them?” and “did you try to eat them plain?”. Sardines are a fishy fish. For people who aren’t into that flavor, it’s important to try sardines with other strong flavors and textures to make the experience more palatable. This is why I love this Creamy Sardine Salad recipe! It is simple but provides some contrasting flavors and textures to make the sardines a little less fishy.
There is a philosophy of “try anything twice” that is predicated on the fact that trying it once is not enough. Why? Because even though we’ve never tried something, we usually still go into the experience with some sort of judgment or bias about how it will be for us. Very rarely are we able to try something without any ideas or thoughts coloring our experience prior to actually experiencing it. With this in mind, the first experience of something new can be swayed to match our judgment of what we expect (confirmation bias). However, if we allow some time to pass and then try it a second time, our second experience tends to be a lot more open-minded. Not to mention, your tastes change! Our taste buds are constantly renewing and regenerating, every 10-14 days, just like every other cell in our body. Our body learns to like what it knows it needs and it knows it needs the abundant nutrients in these fishies!
Whether you are long-time sardine fan or still not convinced of their superpowers, I hope you will adopt the “try anything twice” philosophy and give this salad a try! Check out my other recipes for even more real food inspiration!
Creamy Sardine Salad
(Paleo, Whole30, GAPS, SCD, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1 Tbsp Organic Gluten-Free Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil Mayo
- 1 can Wild-Caught Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1-2 Tbsp Sauerkraut (optional)
- 1 small (or ½ large) Avocado, diced
- 2-3 cups Organic Leafy Greens
- Real Salt to taste
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or salad bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard, the avocado oil mayo, the extra virgin olive oil from the can of sardines, and the salt to taste. Leave the sardines in the can so that the dressing gets mixed together well.
- After the dressing is thoroughly combined, add the sardines to the bowl and mash them up into the creamy dressing
- If using sauerkraut, mix it into the sardine-dressing mixture
- Toss in the diced avocado
- Toss in the leafy greens until the everything is well-mixed and the creamy dressing coats the greens
- Enjoy your superpower salad!
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.