I adore spring! The sun is shining brightly and everything is starting to bloom. Spring is the season of renewal because the cold and dreary days of winter have passed and beautiful weather is here. Spring provides the perfect opportunity to start eating foods which are less heavy and more cooling and light.
I get so excited when I go to the market and start seeing all the lovely vegetables and fruits that become available as the weather turns warmer. Buying seasonal foods is truly the best way to eat for optimum health. Ripe seasonal foods don’t need a lot of manipulation or culinary tricks to make them taste delicious. For some fantastic reasons why it’s important to buy seasonal foods please check out my post.
My 2 spring energy salads are a tasty way to welcome spring with a bang! The first salad features some of the best produce of the season including tender baby spinach, crisp asparagus, juicy baby tomatoes, and fragrant red onion all topped with refreshing meyer lemon basil vinaigrette.
The second salad is a simple persian cucumber salad marinated in fresh lemon juice and sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Both of these fabulous salads are easy to digest and will give you lots of energy and important nutrients for healing your body. I really enjoy eating colorful salads on a regular basis because it’s such an easy way to make sure you’re getting lots of alkaline-rich vegetables, leafy greens, and fruits into your daily diet.
If you usually cook asparagus before using, you’re in for a pleasant surprise with my first salad. I like using thin stalks of raw asparagus because it’s so sweet and tender right now. If you can’t find pencil or thin asparagus in your local markets, feel free to use the larger asparagus spears and either blanch or steam them before using in this salad.
Asparagus contains many great nutrients that promote vibrant health. Asparagus is rich in beta-carotene, B vitamins, inulin, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and fiber. Asparagus is a potent anti-inflammatory and cancer fighter due to the presence of the saponins asparanin A, diosgenin, sarsasapogenin, and protodioscin. Asparagus is also rich in glutathione a super antioxidant that protects and removes toxins from our body.
Spinach is one of my absolute favorite health-promoting vegetables! Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene, folate, lutein, and fiber which all contribute to maintaining vibrant health and which protect our bodies from degenerative diseases.
Basil is a delicious herb that adds great flavor to any recipes you add it to. Basil is an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin A.
Red onions are rich in anthocyanins, quercetin, and sulfur which all work together to prevent inflammation and oxidation of fatty acids in our body.
Cucumbers are water-rich which keeps you hydrated and promotes better energy. Their high water content also supports healthy kidneys. The skin of the cucumber is loaded with chlorophyll and silicon which builds the blood and promotes smooth, supple skin.
Silicon is very important for improving the condition of aging skin, hair, and nails. Silicon increases the strength and thickness of the skin. Cucumbers are also a great source of vitamin C, and B vitamins.
I hope that eating my two spring energy salads will help renew and heal your body.
What’s your favorite fruits or vegetables to eat in the spring? Please contribute to the conversation by leaving a comment below.
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Asparagus, Baby Spinach, Tomato, and Onion Salad
Paleo, Raw Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
8 stalks thin asparagus spears—bottom portion trimmed off
6 cups Baby Spinach
1 cup baby tomatoes
½ small red onion—thinly sliced
Meyer lemon basil vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1. Make recipe for meyer lemon basil vinaigrette and set aside while you make the salad.
2. Clean and cut asparagus into small 2-inch pieces and set aside.
3. Rinse spinach, baby tomatoes, and red onion slices and pat or spin dry. Place all the salad ingredients into salad bowls and toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat. Enjoy immediately.
Feel free to add any of these tasty foods to the basic recipe:
1. 1 small diced avocado
2. 1 cup wild salmon chunks
3. 2 soft boiled eggs
4. 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
5. 1 cup cooked and cooled millet
6. 1 cup pea shoots
7. ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts
8. 1 roasted or poached chicken breast
Meyer Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Makes around ¾ cup
3 tablespoons meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon raw honey
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Unrefined sea salt and black pepper—to taste
1 tablespoon minced basil leaves
1. Place lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey in a glass jar with a lid and whisk well with a fork to combine.
2. Add olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and minced basil. Place lid on the jar and shake vinaigrette until blended together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
3. Use small amount of the vinaigrette to coat the salad and store remaining vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Marinated Persian Cucumber Salad
Raw Vegan, Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Makes 2-4 servings
3 organic Persian cucumbers
¼ cup meyer lemon juice
2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt—to taste
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1. Rinse cucumbers, pat dry, and slice into thin ⅛-inch slices.
2. Place cucumber slices into a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine well and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to allow flavors to meld. Enjoy!