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If you're looking for a healthy, colorful, tasty and quick salad, this is it ...assuming of course the corn is organic.

Summer Corn Salad...South American Style, that is!

  • 1 cup organic canned or dried black beans, well rinsed (soaked and drained)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut in half (if you're cooking the beans)
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped (if you're using canned beans)
  • Kosher or Pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4–5 TB. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 TB. Lakanto™ natural sweetener
  • 1 ripe avocado cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup organic fresh corn kernels, canned, or thawed frozen
    (slowly roast lightly in heavy skillet and cool—may use just a touch of coconut oil).

IF cooking the beans...
Best when raw beans are soaked overnight. Rinse well and then in a deep, heavy-based pot, cover the beans with 6 to 8 cups cold water. Add the bay leaves, onion, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 75 minutes; let cool in the broth. (Refrigerate the cooled beans in the broth if holding for more than a few hours; bring to room temperature before assembling the salad.) Drain the beans, discarding the yellow onion and bay leaves then follow directions below for using canned beans to assemble your salad.

IF using canned beans...
Drain beans well, in a serving bowl, combine the beans with the corn, red onion and scallions. In a small bowl, stir 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1 TB. Lakanto sweetener into the lime juice and then add the olive oil, whisking to combine. Add this dressing along with the cheese, avocado and cilantro to the bean mixture, stirring gently until well combined. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve at room temperature.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve in standard tortilla or mini shells
  • Serve without the cubed avocado in a half-avocado
  • On top of a hamburger or veggie burger
  • Stuff small baked squash with salad
Health Benefits of Ingredients:
  • . Black Beans.a.k.a. turtle beans, frijoles negros (Spanish)

These small, glossy purplish-black beans are one of hundreds of varieties of the common bean. They're especially common in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, and are widely available both dried and canned. Choose dried beans that look plump and evenly colored. Pick over dried beans before using to remove any small pebbles.

Equivalents: 1 cup dried beans = about 2 cups cooked.

The black bean's fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Nutrition in Brief:

Black Beans help protect against cancer, improves digestion, boosts energy, stabilizes blood sugar, loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, are high in protein and helps with weight loss.

Pink Himalayan Salt—Regulates water content throughout the body, absorbs food particles through the intestinal tract, supports respiratory health, promotes sinus health, helps bone strength, supports libido.

Scallions—Known as spring onions (scallions are onions harvested before their bulbs form) are plentiful in B-complex vitamins as well as some essential minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, and calcium. The leafy greens contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions.

One hundred g fresh leaves provide 64 mg of folates. Scallions are nutritious with each part almost entirely edible, except the roots. With the rich taste and health benefits, you may want to start adding scallions to your menu.

Bay Leaves—Some of the most impressive health benefits of bay leaves include their ability to detoxify the body, slow the aging process, speed wound healing, protect the body from bacterial infections, manage diabetes, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues, optimize digestion, improve health of hair follicles, and help lower stress hormones in the body.

Onion—Onions are part of the allium family of vegetables and herbs, which also includes chives, garlic, scallions and leeks.

Consuming onions could lower the risk of several types of cancer. Onions are believed to be beneficial because of their dense source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C helps combat formation of free-radicals known to cause cancer as well as a compound called quercetin, known to play a significant role in cancer prevention, improve mood and maintain the health of skin and hair. Additionally, onions contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar and have been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and heal infections. NOTE: Researchers from Cornell University studied 11 varieties of onions and found that shallots and Western yellow onions were the healthiest for their phenolic and flavonoid content.

Corn—Contains abundant antioxidant activity, which helps protect the body from cancer and heart disease— antioxidants are increased when corn is cooked. Nutrition in Brief: Sweet corn is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. A midsize ear also offers a helpful 3-grams of dietary fiber. Other key phytonutrients include ferulic—vanillic—caffeic—syringic and coumaric acids, and beta-carotene are other key phytonutrients provided by corn. Corn is a good source of pantothenic acid, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, manganese and vitamin B6.

Cucumber—Following is a short list of the impressive health benefits that a cucumber imparts: an excellent source of vitamin K, molybdenum and pantothenic acid. Additionally, they're a good source of copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, biotin and vitamin B1, and nail health-promoting mineral silica.

  • Keeps you hydrated
  • Fights heat, both inside and out
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Nourishes you with vitamins
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Revives and nourishes the eyes
  • Cuts cancer risk
  • Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, and silicon

Lime—The health benefits of lime include weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, supports eye health, treatment of scurvy, piles/ hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gum disorders/inflammation, urinary disorders, regulates sugar absorption in diabetics, helps prevent heart disease, relief from fever and congestion, eliminates dandruff from hair follicles, etc. The first fruit that comes to mind in terms of medicinal uses is, and has been for centuries, the lime.

Cilantro—Historical Perspective: Both cilantro and coriander have been used throughout the world to add flavor to dishes, and for natural holistic healing. Cilantro has been found in the Nahal Hemar Cave in Israel believed to have been inhabited over 8,000 years ago.

Tutankhamen's tomb was found with coriander seeds sprinkled throughout. Cilantro was grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and is one of the first herbs to be cultivated in North America. For thousands of years, cultures across the world have taken advantage of cilantro's health benefits...AND... great taste enhancement.

For over 5,000 years, Ayurveda medicine has used both coriander and cilantro to support liver function, fight bacterial infections, encourage digestive enzymes, detox the liver and kidneys, support memory, soothe skin rashes, and to stimulate the secretion of insulin.

Another very important function of cilantro is it rids the body of heavy metals that include arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead, and mercury. These toxic metals can become resident in our tissues leading to heart disease, hormonal imbalances, neurological conditions, infertility, and so much more. Cilantro, also known scientifically as "Coriandrum sativum," has been shown to bind these toxic metals together, loosening them from tissue, and facilitating their elimination from the body.

One study found that Coriandrum sativum significantly protects against lead induced oxidative stress, while another study found that cilantro actually accelerates the removal of heavy metals from the body.

Dr. Omura, director of Medical Research at the Heart Disease Foundation, found in this study that antibiotic use is linked to the buildup of heavy metals in the body. He believes that antibiotics can protect the heavy metals causing certain infections to relapse, even after an entire course of antibiotics. In this study, cilantro was used to help remove stubborn heavy metal deposits that continued to plague patients; even after initial infection symptoms had faded.

Results of the study showed that by supplementing antibiotic drugs with cilantro, cilantro is able to rid the body of the heavy metal toxins, and keep the infections from arising again. Cilantro's superior detoxing ability is why I include it in my heavy metal detox regimen as part of my worldwide programs for Wholistic Rejuvenation.

Feta Cheese—contains 0.3 milligrams of riboflavin—19 percent of the RDA, and 0.6 micrograms of vitamin B12—11 percent of the RDA. It also contains Vitamin A, thiamin, vitamin B6, choline, niacin, folate, vitamin K, pantothenic acid and vitamin E.

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.

An important protein found in feta cheese is called histidine. This protein was initially considered important only in infant health, but later was found essential in adults as well. When histidine is combined with vitamin B6 (found in feta cheese), it undergoes a molecular process to become histamine—a compound that is part of the inflammatory process. Although it is generally important to remove foods that cause inflammation from your diet, a small degree of inflammation is what allows your immune system to fight disease.

Eating foods like feta cheese sparingly, combined with a diet high in antioxidants to protect from the damage of excess inflammation, can ensure a healthy immune system ready to fight disease the way it was originally designed.

BONUS: feta cheese contains probiotics, which also help your immune system fight infection and disease!

The Way I See It... Ecuador's history really does pack a dramatic punch, especially in culinary traditions and trends. The cultivation of corn began on Ecuador's Santa Elena peninsula and this agricultural progress is still one of their main crops and dietary mainstays. I never consumed much corn when living in the states except maybe summer outings or BBQ's. However, in Ecuador it's a different story because there's such a variety of genres and methods of preparing I had never experienced. Remember, the main concern is to insure the corn is organic because worldwide it's one of the most polluted crops as well as much these days is genetically-modified. This salad is my take of a delicious corn salad that has been served to me many times and is a favorite for the hot summer months—although hot in northern Ecuador means high of 75 degrees. (Cotacachi, where my health sciences and research center is based enjoys spring weather ALL year.) But, keeping in mind we're on the center of the world, at 8,000 ft. and on the equator...that's HOT from about July thru October during what the locals call the windy and dry. This dish is perfect for any weather but especially when you don't choose to heat-up your kitchen.

Gloria Gilbere, DAHom, PhD

Dr. Gloria Gilbère (CDP, DA Hom, ND, PhD, DSC, EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist, Certified HTMA Practitioner) is Founder/CEO of the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation – after 22 years of owning/operating two health clinics in Idaho she relocated her Health Sciences/Research/Cooking Institute division to Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.

Her worldwide consulting via phone and Skype continues as does the Institute for Wholistic Rejuvenation in Idaho. Visit her website at or call (888.352.8175) to schedule a consultation or register for her post-graduate courses.

NEWS FLASH: Ready to learn more about simple recipes that can give you what I call the Anti-Inflammation Advantage? Download your free 40+ page cookbook The Anti-Inflammation Recipe Sampler at