With summertime right around the corner, that can only mean one thing- delicious strawberries, and fresh salads! If you love spinach salads, a great way to jazz up a basic favorite is with some sweet strawberries and savory feta cheese. Toss some walnuts on top for an undeniable crunch, and there’s nothing more refreshing than a delicious salad on a warm summer day.
Making this colorful salad even more vivacious is the addition of an easy balsamic vinaigrette that adds a delicious zest of flavor. This salad is one that packs immense nutritional value with the perfect flavor combinations.
Superfoods have proven to provide a variety of health benefits. That’s because these (often plant-based) foods are so nutritionally dense. They have minimal calories and are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Because of this, superfoods have become a great addition to many diets.
Common superfoods include berries, leafy greens, and even dark chocolate! Amongst the most popular superfoods are:
Rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, and many B vitamins, spinach is loaded with an abundance of nutrients in a super low-calorie leafy green. Spinach can help support the health of skin, hair, and bones while also providing protein, iron, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
For those who have diabetes, consuming spinach can assist in controlling and improving blood glucose levels. Additionally, one cup of spinach alone includes 0.81 grams of iron and 30 milligrams of calcium.
Jam-packed with folic acid, vitamin C, and fiber, strawberries may just be the hidden gem of superfoods. It’s been noted that strawberries are associated with a lower risk of hypertension. They can also reduce LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol. Much like spinach, consuming strawberries can also improve blood glucose while reducing hyperglycemic responses to food.
Rightfully crowned a superfood, walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, alpha linoleic acid, and fiber, and contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants. It may surprise you to learn that walnuts can be beneficial to the health of your gut, as they act as a form of prebiotic. Additionally, the beneficial nutrients of walnuts can also protect your brain and help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The best part about walnuts is a few go a long way. A handful serves sufficient to reap all the benefits these delicious nuts have to offer.
Spinach-Strawberry Salad With Feta and Walnuts
With all these superfoods packing a punch with their endless health benefits, what’s better than a summer salad that includes not one, but ALL of these stupendous superfoods?
Try this recipe from Carolyn Casner, EatingWell Recipe Developer & Tester, to start reaping the benefits these superfoods have to offer.
- 1½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. shallot, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts
- Whisk oil, vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Allow dressing mixture to stand for approximately 5-10 minutes. This will allow the shallots to soften, mellow out, and all the flavors to marry together nicely.
- Combine spinach, strawberries, feta, and walnuts into a bowl.
- Toss dressing into salad, ensuring all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.