Peaches are the hallmark of the summer months, and their sweetness and versatility make it a chef’s dream. This sweet salad is a delicious addition to your summer salad rotation, and ties in all the delicious summer flavors of grilled chicken, peaches, and blueberries. It’s a simple recipe to throw together for leftovers, and is a sweet alternative to really bring out the flavors of the season!
Peaches have a number of surprising benefits, and can help improve your daily life in a number of ways that might surprise you!
Some health benefits of peaches
Like any fruit or vegetable, peaches provide fiber and antioxidants that support a healthy heart and may be beneficial in weight loss. A medium peach is only about 50 calories total, and provides 15% of your vitamin C intake. As vitamin C is needed to support a health immune system, and can protect you against free radicals that cause cancer. Peaches also contain 6% of the daily recommendation of vitamin A, which is vital for maintaining healthy skin and mucous membranes. Although that might sound gross, your body needs healthy mucous membranes in vital organs such as your lungs. Peaches can be a part of keeping that mucous membrane healthy and working for you!
Another great thing about peaches is that they can retain many of their rich vitamin and mineral qualities even after they have been canned. One major component in preserving those nutritional qualities is whether or not the skins have been canned as well, so be sure to select a non-peeled variety if you have a choice. That peach skin contains lots of the phenol and carotenoids that our bodies need.
Phenols, while in its purest forms can be toxic, have a number of health benefits when they come from plants. Phenols can serve as antioxidants to reduce the effects of free radicals, and can even prevent and treat cancer. Carotenoids, or the pigments found in plants that give off the bright yellows, oranges, and reds in plants, also serve as an antioxidants. There are so many neat facts about carotenoids and how they can improve your health, and you can read more about them here.
There are so many neat reasons to add more peaches to your diet, but my absolute favorite is that it can help reduce the symptoms of allergies. Whenever anyone experiences an allergy symptom, the body releases histamines into the blood stream that cause those reactions. Peaches have been shown to reduce the amount of histamines released into the blood, meaning that allergy symptoms are not as severe. As if you needed another reason to eat this delicious fruit!
How to make Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad with Sweet Peach Poppyseed Dressing
This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and is a great way to get all those peach benefits that I mentioned above. Even if you aren’t looking to make this salad exactly, I highly recommend making the peach poppyseed dressing! It is absolutely tasty and brings a sweet but not overly sweet taste to your salads.
For the salad, you will need:
- greens (I prefer darker greens to balance out with the sweetness of the peaches)
- red onion
For the dressing, you will need:
- olive oil
- ground ginger
- dates (softened)
- almond milk
- balsamic vinegar
- poppy seeds
First, prepare the dressing. I like to use peaches that are a little overripe so that they are extra sweet and juicy, but might be a little more ripe than I would like to eat on its own. Remove the pits from the peaches, and place them in a blender. Combine them with the olive oil, salt, ground ginger, and softened dates. I personally like to soak my dates for about 10 minutes in hot water before adding them to a blender so that they are nice and gooey – I find dates blend better after beings soaked!
Next, blend in the almond milk, the balsamic vinegar, and the poppy seeds. Keep blending until a nice creamy dressing forms. Set your dressing aside until you’re done with the rest of your meal.
Next, grill up your chicken and your peaches! Normally, it’s better to put your chicken on first and let that cook for awhile before adding the peaches. I really only add the peaches towards the end of the chicken grilling, since I personally grill my peaches for only a few minutes on each side (maybe 2-3 minutes). That way, they get their charred skins but aren’t completely falling apart. Of course, with peaches, you could definitely still have them fall apart on the grill, so take it with some grace when they do!
While your peaches and chicken are grilling, assemble your salad with your greens, chopped avocado, chopped red onion, and blueberries.
Once your grilled chicken and peaches are done, allow them to cool enough so that you can safely slice them into smaller pieces. Add your sliced pieces of chicken and peaches to the salad, and add your dressing. Enjoy!
Grilled Chicken and Peach Salad with Sweet Peach Poppyseed Dressing (Whole30, Paleo)
For the salad
- 8 cups salad greens
- 4 peaches
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 avocado
- 1 lb chicken breast
For the dressing
- 3 peaches (very ripe)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 dates, softened in water beforehand
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- Prepare the dressing. Remove the pits from the peaches. Blend the peaches with the olive oil, salt, ground ginger, dates, almond milk, balsamic vinegar, and poppy seeds. Blend until creamy and even. Set aside.
- Grill the chicken breast and the remaining peaches. Grill chicken first, adding the peaches when the chicken is almost done. You should remove the chicken when it is fully cooked, and the peaches can be removed when they have been slightly charred but not are not falling apart.
- Allow the cooked grilled chicken and peaches to cool, and then cut up and add them to the salad greens.
- Add to your salad the blueberries, chopped onion, and chopped avocado.
- Add your salad dressing, and enjoy!