One of my favorite salads from Panera Bread is the strawberry poppyseed salad. I decided that I wanted to recreate this salad, but use chia seeds instead of poppy seeds. And it was nothing short of delicious.
I have a confession. Before I experimented with this recipe, I had never tried chia seeds before. Maybe it’s because I can’t think of chia without thinking about chia pets? Ch ch ch chia! I had visions of chia pets growing in my stomach and emerging out of my body like that scene from Spaceballs.
I was surprised to discover that chia seeds are incredibly nutritious compared to poppy seeds. There are only 60 calories and 80 mg of potassium (good for blood pressure) in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. They are also sodium free and contain magnesium (good for blood pressure), antioxidants (cancer fighting) , and omega-3 fatty acids (good for brain & heart health). How did I not jump on the chia seed wagon sooner?
The most challenging part of this was to figure out how to make the famous dressing. Oh the dressing! If you’ve had the salad, you know what I’m talking about. I’m not going to lie, I think mine is better. Maybe it’s because of the chia, or maybe just because it’s fresh? Either way, it might be the most delicious salad dressing I’ve ever created.
The dressing is a little thick in the shot below, but that is what makes it so delicious. I have to apologize about the picture below as it’s not my favorite, but it was the best shot I had of the dressing. I had a difficult time capturing the dressing because it was a little thick and didn’t pour smoothly in this shot. I used a small food processor instead of a hand mixer. You can still use a small food processor, but using a hand mixer will create a smoother texture. This would make a great salad to add to your Memorial Day menu!