This Strawberry Spinach Salad is the perfect fresh and nutritious dish to enjoy as a healthy main entree. Filled with fresh strawberries, a sweet balsamic dressing, and a crunchy nut based granola topping, this salad has the perfect balance of pleasant flavors and textures.
Granola isn't just for your yogurt parfaits. Its crunchy texture and subtle sweetness make it an excellent way to enhance the flavors of a number of your favorite dishes. In addition to cookies and smoothies, nut granola also makes a great salad topper.
Best Low Carb Salad Topper
While there are many types of salad toppers, many of them rely on everything from added sugars, excessive amounts of additives, and even fried pieces of potato chips to enhance their taste. For example, candied pecans make a great way to add crunch to your salad, but some brands of the tasty nut can include up to 16 grams of added sugar.
NuTrail Nut Granola makes the best low carb salad topping because it's made with clean ingredients you can feel good about eating. NuTrail granola is gluten-free and sweetened with erythritol and monk fruit, making it an ideal solution for those following low glycemic diets.
Is Strawberry Spinach Salad Healthy?
This spinach salad with strawberry is a nutrient dense meal choice. Spinach contains vitamins A, C, and K in addition to a healthy amount of fiber. Avocado, olive oil, and the nuts in the granola contain healthy fats and protein, which will help give you energy and keep you feeling full.
While this salad is filling on its own, you can choose to up the protein in your meal by slicing up grilled chicken or fish to put on top.
How do you prepare Spinach for a salad?
The first step to preparing the perfect spinach salad happens before you even bring the ingredients home. Because it's the nutrient-dense base that the salad is built upon, it's important to choose your spinach at the store carefully. Baby spinach is ideal for salad because it's mild in taste and tender in texture. If buying pre-packaged spinach, be sure to inspect all angles of the bag to avoid those with soggy or wilted browned spinach. When making a salad where spinach is the star, you want the freshest option available.
Next, thoroughly wash and dry the spinach by using a salad spinner or patting it dry. If desired, you can also remove the stems. Mature spinach tends to have thicker stems that are less enjoyable to eat, whereas baby spinach has thinner stems that don't need to be removed.
Why You'll Love It
Crunch- This salad packs a big punch. When you're following a low carb diet, for example, it can be hard to find that missing crunch that croutons offer. The spinach gives this salad a great texture, and the granola serves up lots of crunch.
Easy- This simple meal comes together in less than 10 minutes. To make it even quicker, you can easily prep the fruit and dressing ahead of time. This recipe is very flexible and can be easily adapted to the ingredients that are already in your refrigerator with variations such as adding grilled chicken or swapping the strawberries out for blueberries.
Fresh- Every bite of this strawberry spinach salad recipe is full of freshness, and its vibrant colors are a great indication of its satisfying, natural ingredients. You can even enhance the garden fresh taste by shopping for the ingredients at your local farmer's market.
NuTrail Vanilla Strawberry Granola- This variety of our nut granola makes the perfect complement to the fresh strawberry taste in the salad. It's also low carb friendly because it doesn't contain oats but instead uses sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, toasted pecans, hazelnuts and more to create the perfect crunchy topping.
Fresh Spinach- Fresh baby spinach makes up the base of this salad. You can also add a portion of Spring mix salad blend if you find the taste of spinach alone to be too powerful.
Strawberries- Fresh strawberries add a natural sweetness to the salad, which balances the spinach's bitter undertones. They also add a bright pop of color, which makes the salad look and even more appetizing.
Avocado- Avocados have a low glycemic index and are a good source of fiber. Their natural creaminess and nutty taste make them an excellent addition to salads.
Red Onion- Red onion slices are a popular salad ingredient because when raw, they add a subtly sweet yet zesty tang. Alternatively, you can use pickled onions for a more subdued flavor.
Feta cheese- Feta is a soft and creamy crumbled cheese. Its mild flavor goes especially well with fresh flavors, and makes it a great addition to most salads.
Olive Oil- Choose an olive oil with a taste you enjoy. While any variety is fine to sauté with, when using it in a dressing, it's important that you truly enjoy the oil's actual flavor.
Honey- Honey adds a natural sweetness to the dressing. If you're following a low sugar diet, feel free to omit it or swap it for a small amount of your preferred sweetener.
Balsamic Vinegar- Balsamic vinegar gives the dressing a deep and refined flavor. Made from unfermented grapes, balsamic vinegar adds a concentrated taste to this dressing that perfectly complements the salad ingredients.
Dijon Mustard- Dijon mustard has a smooth and slightly tangy flavor that adds brightness to the dressing. Aside from taste, it serves an important function, which is to act as an emulsifier. It helps the dressing ingredients, including the usually separate oil and vinegar, to whisk into a cohesive mixture.
How to Make Strawberry Spinach Salad
1. The first step is to wash and dry all of your fresh ingredients. This can often be the most time-consuming part, so if you'll be short on time when putting this recipe together, you should ideally prepare the ingredients in advance.
2. Next, place the spinach into a large bowl. Add the onions, strawberry slices, avocado, and crumbled feta cheese before gently tossing.
3. Top the salad with NuTrail Vanilla Strawberry Nut Granola.
4. To make the dressing: whisk all the ingredients into a medium bowl until well combined. If you plan to serve the entire salad, drizzle the desired amount of dressing and toss the salad to coat it evenly. Alternatively, you can swap in a splash of fresh lemon juice.
5. If you plan to only eat a portion of this delicious salad, it's best to add the dressing to each individual portion because it will not keep well in the fridge once the dressing is added.
Tips and Substitutions
- If you make the salad ahead of time, keep the toppings separated until just before serving. Additionally, do not slice the avocado until just before it's ready to be served. Once cut, oxidation causes avocados to turn brown quickly.
- Replace the feta cheese with goat cheese or blue cheese.
- Feel free to use a store-bought dressing or another salad dressing, such as a lemon poppy seed dressing. Poppy seeds can add another subtle crunch and add a pleasant, slightly nutty taste.
- Add cooked chicken or a side of salmon to make this a protein-filled meal.
- If you love fruit, feel free to load up this summer salad with even more. Fresh berries like blueberries would work great, and for a citrusy zest, you can add mandarin oranges as well.
FAQ Strawberry Spinach Salad
Can I omit the honey?
The honey can be omitted from the recipe, with no further changes needed. It does add sweetness to the dressing but is not an essential ingredient. If you would like a sweet dressing that does not contain honey, try a liquid sweetener in a brand of sugar alternative that you prefer and adjust the amount to your liking.
What does balsamic taste like?
Balsamic has a deep, complex flavor. It is slightly sweet and tart with a strong vinegar taste that's richer in flavor than white vinegar.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
4-6 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 medium avocado, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 small red onion, sliced
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
NuTrail Vanilla Strawberry Nut Granola Honey Balsamic Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1. In a large salad bowl, toss the spinach, strawberries, avocado, and red onion slices.
2. Top with feta cheese and sprinkle generously with granola.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar and dijon until well combined and smooth. Drizzle over the spinach strawberry salad and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.