Summer Salads: Seasonal Stars
There’s no better time to enjoy the refreshing tastes and textures of a freshly made salad than during summer. From fruit salads to mixed green salads, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that is not nutritious! Here are three of our favorite summer salad ingredients:
1. Berries – Whether you’re craving a refreshing mixed berry salad with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries or you want to serve a simple strawberry and spinach salad topped with toasted walnuts to your garden party guests, berries are a great choice for adding delightful taste, texture and nutrition to your summer salad repertoire. Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin K; raspberries are an excellent source of fiber, manganese, and vitamin C; and strawberries are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C.
2. Tomatoes – It’s hard to imagine green salads without farm fresh tomatoes! And there are specific summer salads that feature tomatoes as a crucial ingredient, including the panzanella salad and the Caprese salad. Nutritionally, tomatoes are an outstanding source of lycopene, a carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical that helps protect cells against damage from the free radicals formed when body cells burn oxygen for energy. Tomatoes also are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K.
3. Cucumbers – Incredibly refreshing and a summertime staple, cucumbers offer a combination of valuable nutrients, including flavonoids, cucurbitacins, and lignans. These three phytonutrients provide anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits.