3 Fresh and Inspiring Summer Salads

by | Jul 31, 2019 | Nutrition, Recipe, Weight loss, Wellness

When it’s hot outside and you don’t feel like cooking, summer salads are the perfect go-to meal. Backyard BBQ’s, cottage weekends or healthy lunches, you can’t go wrong with a healthy spinach salad.

Spinach is at the top of the superfood list because of the many vitamins and minerals it contains, which gives it the ability to help prevent disease and provide a multitude of other nutritional benefits.

The Benefits of Spinach

Studies have shown that adding just a cup of spinach to your diet will help aid in digestion, prevent constipation, maintain blood sugar, and even help curb your appetite if you are trying to lose weight.

A cup of spinach a day can also help strengthen mucous membranes, the respiratory system, and your urinary tract, which can help fight against infections.

Spinach and Oxalates

Spinach (along with a number of other foods) contains a relatively large amount of an anti-nutrient called oxalates. These are called anti-nutrients because they actually bind calcium, iron and other minerals leaving them unavailable for us to properly absorb.

Most people can consume oxalate-rich foods without problems and these compounds are eliminated in the stool or urine. However, for sensitive individuals, with altered gut function or with a strong family history of diabetes, kidney issues or with iron and calcium deficiencies may need to limit their intake.

The occasional consumption of high oxalate foods can still be part of a nutritious diet and should not be eliminated. Rather, enjoy these foods more so in moderation to reap their nutritious benefits without the constant bombardment of oxalates.

These summer salad recipes are the perfect go-to summer meal:

Grilled Sunflower Zucchini Salad

(serves 5)

Ingredients

4 medium zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise (1/4 inch strips)
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cups spinach leaves
1 cup arugula leaves
1 cup kale leaves
½ cup alfalfa sprouts
1 can chickpeas

Sunflower Dressing

½ cup sunflower seeds
¾ cup water
Juice from half a lemon
1 garlic clove
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions

1 Preheat a touch of oil in a medium sized skillet. Add zucchini and grill on each side for around 3 minutes.

2 While the zucchini is cooking, begin the dressing. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on high until a smooth consistency is reached.

3 In a bowl, mix the cabbage, spinach, arugula, kale, alfalfa sprouts and chickpeas.

4 Add the grilled zucchini to the salad. Pour the dressing over top and enjoy!

BBQ Balsamic Chicken Berry Salad

(serves 2-3)

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cup kale
1 cup arugula leaves
1 cup chopped strawberries
½ cup chopped pecans
1 avocado, diced

Salad Dressing

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

1 Whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.

2 Place chicken breasts in a container and pour 3-4 tablespoons of dressing over top. Marinate for 30 minutes to one hour.

3 Place the spinach, arugula, strawberries pecans and diced avocado in a large bowl

4 Remove chicken from marinade and place it on the BBQ. Grill for 10-15 minutes on each side until cooked thoroughly.

5 Add the cooked chicken to the salad bowl and pour remaining dressing over top!

Best Summer Spinach Salad

(serves 2)

Ingredients

1 cup baby spinach
1 peach sliced
½ cup red onions
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup toasted pine nuts (can use pecans or almonds if preferred)

Salad Dressing

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove minced
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions

1 Whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.

2 Place all remaining ingredients in a large bowl

3 Toss ingredients together with dressing and ENJOY!!

For more salad inspiration, try this healthy Kale Salad or check out our blog page for more healthy recipes!

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