Sweeten summer break with strawberry salads

Health and wellness organizations urge the importance of including plenty of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet plan.

Strawberry Spinach Summer Salad | Jasmine Tamez/The Daily Cougar

According to the American Heart Association, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help control weight and blood pressure. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Exercise sports sciences for health professions graduate Taryn Cramer described many benefits of including fruits and vegetables in her diet plan.

“Incorporating fruits and vegetables into my diet fuels my body with phytonutrients and beneficial vitamins like vitamin B. This helps provide energy and helps with hair and nail growth,” Cramer said.

“The intake of greens as part of a healthy diet can significantly impact a person’s life and provide nothing but positive results.”

Based on a 2,000-calorie diet, individuals are urged to consume about four and a half cups of fruits and vegetables every day.

With this scrumptious strawberry spinach salad drizzled with savory sweet strawberry cilantro vinaigrette dressing, eating four and a half cups of fruits and vegetables is easier — and delicious.


Strawberry Spinach Summer Salad

Makes 2 servings
Calories per serving: about 270


  • 4 cups loosely-packed spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced or quartered
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced and cut into small strips
  • 1 cup grapes, halved
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, whole or chopped
  • ¼ cup strawberry cilantro vinaigrette


Place spinach, strawberries, pears, grapes and walnuts into a large salad bowl.

Fold until ingredients are evenly distributed.

Serve two equal portions in a salad bowl or on a plate.

Drizzle 1/8 cup strawberry cilantro vinaigrette on each salad.

Strawberry Cilantro Vinaigrette

Makes 8 servings
Calories per serving: about 85 calories


  • ½ cup fresh strawberries
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ½ lemons, juiced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


Place strawberry preserves, balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, honey, lemon juice, cilantro, black pepper and salt into a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth.

Place blender or food processor on lowest setting. While the motor is running, add olive oil slowly and steadily to the mixture.

Drizzle on your salad of choice.

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