Recipe of the Season: Fruity, Crunchy Summer Salad (Vegan and GF)

As much as I like to jokingly refer to myself as one, I am not a “health guru” by any means. However, I do think I make a pretty good salad. I used to not be a fan of salads at all, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that making salad doesn’t have to be a dull experience. And thus, my fruity, crunchy salad was born through lots of trial and error. It’s super easy to find ingredients for and whip together, and it’s great for you, too!

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Another thing I enjoy about this salad is that it is easy on my wallet. I buy canned pineapple and frozen strawberries, which really brings down the price of items without compromising nutrition. There are several yummy elements to this salad, but here are the key ingredients:

Kale, as I’m sure many of you are tired of hearing, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. I used to admittedly not be a fan of it, until I decided to buy a sweet kale salad mix and I absolutely loved it. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, which is perfect for the summertime, and it can also help to lower your cholesterol. 

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables, so I was really happy to find a salad mix that has both broccoli and kale. Not only is broccoli crunchy and delicious, it’s also a great source of calcium and vitamin K. Both of those are important for supporting healthy bones, so you can feel good about incorporating it into this salad.

Pineapple adds a punch of sweetness to this salad, and it makes the salad look absolutely beautiful as well. I’m a strong believer that food tastes better when it’s pleasing to look at. While pineapple is very high in sugar, it also has several nutritional benefits as well. It contains disease-fighting antioxidants, and some people say it can even aid in a speedy recovery after a workout! I’ve been trying to work out more frequently, so I’ll have to let you know if I see any difference.

Strawberries are my favorite fruit, so of course I knew I wanted to add them to my salad as well. Normally I buy frozen strawberries because they are cheaper, but since the DTA has started increasing SNAP funds due to the pandemic, I’ve been able to splurge a bit and buy fresh strawberries. And what a beautiful treat it is! I love how shiny and vibrant they are, and they’re truly my favorite element of the meal. Just like kale and pineapple, strawberries also have lots of healthy antioxidants! 

Pecans are one of the few nuts I actually like, so that was my topping of choice for this salad. They compliment the crunchiness of the broccoli and kale very nicely, and even though nuts are relatively expensive, I felt like they were worth it for this meal. Also, pecans have loads of health benefits for you! They improve digestion, aid in weight loss, prevent skin problems, and boost your immunity. All good things that I would love to carry with me in 2020. 

The complete list of everything I use in this salad is the Taylor Farms Sweet Kale salad mix, a small container of canned pineapple, 4-5 strawberries, a sprinkling of pecans, and I finish it off with the Panera Poppyseed dressing. It’s sweet and vibrant, and it all mixes together beautifully! I’ve been enjoying this salad a lot lately, and I’m sure you guys will love it too. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, which means it’s also a very inclusive salad.

Thanks for tuning into Recipie of the Season! I’ll see you guys for another installment in the fall.

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