Summer Strawberry Spinach Salad

One of my favorite things about this time of year is…

All the fruits and vegetables I get to eat out of my own garden!

It’s so satisfying eating what you grew in your own backyard.

And one of my favorite things to make from my garden haul in the summer…

Is a summer salad packed full of delicious ingredients!

Of course, if you don’t have a garden, I always recommend visiting your local farmer’s market for the freshest ingredients – plus you get to support local!

One of my summer staples is a Strawberry Spinach Salad!

It’s jam-packed full of nutrients and tastes amazing! What more could you ask for?

I like to call it a Summer Spinach Salad, but of course, it can be made any time of the year.

Here’s what you will need:

Let’s start with the dressing!

I prefer a poppy seed dressing with this salad – it really makes all the flavors pop! But a vinaigrette is also a great option.

  • 4 cups of white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup of sugar or honey
  • 1 to 2 tbsp of poppy seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ ground mustard
  • 2 tsp of mayonnaise (this part is optional, it just helps make it  a bit creamier)
  • ½ cup of olive oil, or grapeseed oil

Instructions

  • Whisk the white wine vinegar and sugar until the sugar is mostly dissolved (it’s okay if there is still some undissolved sugar). Add the poppy seeds, salt, and ground mustard, and whisk to combine.
  • As you whisk the dressing steadily, pour the olive oil into the dressing in a slow stream and continue whisking until completely combined.
  • Transfer to a covered container and store in the fridge. I try to chill my dressing for about an hour before I mix up my salad.
  • NOTE: It can be saved for 2 weeks if you don’t use it all, but the dressing will separate as it sits; so be sure to shake it recombine before using.

Now onto the salad ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (sliced almonds or walnuts are also a great choice – you can also toast your pecans if you want!)
  • 5 cups of spinach
  • 2 cups lettuce – I like to add just a few green lettuce leaves as well 
  • 16 oz strawberries sliced
  • 1/2 thinly sliced red onion – Strawberries and red onion is a really great flavor combination!
  • 4 sliced baby cucumbers or regular-sized – I grow baby cucumbers so that is what I use
  • Pinch sea salt & pepper
  • Feta cheese crumbles (you can use any substitute to make it a vegan option)

Making the salad:

Personally, I don’t really have a routine of how I make it in terms of what ingredients go in first so to each their own!

One thing I do – I add pecans into the mix but I also leave some leftover and sprinkle that and the feta on top of the mixture once the dressing is all added. I also am pretty generous with the dressing. I like it very creamy so I use enough dressing to really coat the salad.

So now you know how to make this delicious salad. I just want to tell you a bit about what makes this salad so nutritious! Each ingredient comes with its own benefits – so of course, the salad tastes great AND is good for us!


Benefits of this Summer Spinach Salad

Pecans

The great thing about raw pecans is that they are cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and low in carbohydrates. They also contain a ton of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Most of the fat found in pecans is monounsaturated fat. Eating foods with monounsaturated fat instead of foods high in saturated fats (like potato chips) can help lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol. Keeping your LDL cholesterol low cuts down your risk of developing heart issues.

Pecans are also a great source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium – all of which can also help support heart health and have great anti aging properties which is ideal for our skin! 

They are a great guilt-free snack!

Strawberries

Strawberries are at their prime in the summer. They are one of my favorite things to grow. And picking them is fun for the whole family!

They also come with quite the punch!

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant we need for optimal immune support as well as skin health. They also contain folate – also known as B9. B9 is important for normal tissue growth and cell function.

Potassium is another great benefit of eating strawberries. This mineral is involved in essential body functions, like regulating cardiovascular health.

Spinach

I LOVE spinach. Cooked or raw!

Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium, iron, and manganese. This leafy green can help benefit our eye health, reduce oxidative stress, promote radiant skin and support heart health.

Green Leaf Lettuce

Not just green leaf lettuce but all salad greens contain vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, calcium, folate, fiber, and phytonutrients.

They are a great choice because they do not contain cholesterol and are naturally low in calories and sodium. I like to grow red leaf, green leaf, and good old fashion romaine lettuce.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are one of my favorite snacks as well as a salad garnish. Give me some cucumbers and dip and I am in heaven!

Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K. As well as potassium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. They really come with a plethora of goodness!

Cucumbers are low in calories and can promote hydration, glowing and hydrated skin, weight loss, may lower blood sugar, and promote a healthy digestive system.

Red Onion


Red onions are a rich source of potassium, magnesium, and vitamins K, B6, and C.

Their nutritional properties can help boost our immune system, healthy hair and skin, support a healthy heart and also help lower LDL cholesterol & triglycerides.


This salad comes with it all! Taste and ample nutrition! These ingredients benefit us from the inside out. Including our skin!

So what are you waiting for? Give it a try and see for yourself!


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