Summer is the perfect time to experiment with different salads thanks to the large selection of fresh, in season produce available. Summer fruits in particular are ripe, inexpensive and bursting with favor. I love salads because they make a quick and easy meal requiring little planning and preparation. On a hot summer day, a nice cool and refreshing salad sure beats cooking over a stove.
Instead of your basic house salad with carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes which may become boring, try mixing it up! Fruit makes an easy sweet and tasty addition to those greens. Spinach topped with fresh berries and goat cheese is my favorite summer salad creation. Berries are packed full of fiber and antioxidants. Antioxidants can decrease the risk of many diseases. The phytochemical called anthocyanin is what gives blueberries & blackberries their dark blue color and strawberries their red color. In addition to anthocyanin, strawberries also contain other compounds including flavonoids, ellagitannins and ellagic acid which all have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Watermelon is high in carotenoid-phytochemicals. In fact, one serving of watermelon has three times the amount of lycopene than a raw tomato! Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and watermelon are also all an EXCELLENT source of Vitamin C!
Summer Berry Salad with Homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 cup of raw spinach
- 1/4 cup of diced watermelon
- 1/4 cup of fresh blackberries or blueberries
- 1/4 cup of chopped pecans
- goat cheese
- Fresh strawberries
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- Olive oil
To make dressing, wash and chop a handful of fresh strawberries. In a blender, combine strawberries with about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinaigrette and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add seasonings if desired.
Read more about the benefits of tasty summer fruit here.