Blackberry Mango Summer Salad
As promised the weekly Summer Salad edition continues and this one takes in all the in-season fruit goodness that is so plentiful in our local supermarkets and farmers market! As I walk through the produce section I get my inspiration from the colors and combinations that sounds taste tempting to me and this one was just that! The mango is so fresh and I added in some crunch with some health warriors - Walnuts!
Walnuts are such a great addition to your diet and most definitely in your salad! You can add them plain or roast them as I did with a bit of flavor to add even more to your salad! The benefits of walnuts are QUITE plentiful to your health, including reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body, improving metabolism, aiding in weight loss and helping to eliminate or control diabetes. Other important health benefits of walnuts stem from the fact that these nuts possess anti-inflammatory properties, improve brain health, and help as a mood booster. They are also believed to slow down the spread of cancer! Some insane stats here and MORE than enough reason to add these to your diet - in moderation of course as with anything!
Now, for the base I added a plethora of lettuce and I'm kind of a freak about lettuce. I hate Arugula - yes I'm ONE of those 2 people out there - so you won't see me use it. However, I do love greens and LOVE spinach. however, one TINY fact about me and quite weird I may add - is I HATE stems! I mean I won't use in my smoothies, I won't eat them in my salad, I cut them or tear them off - EVERY SINGLE ONE! I know its weird, but hey its me and its my quirky food issue!:)
So, for the base I added some chopped Romaine, Chopped Spinach and mixed it together and it actually was quite nice. Now, you can also use any GREEN mix you prefer - if even your precious Arugula:)
First, I roasted the walnuts with a little balsamic, honey, olive oil and sea salt. I roasted for only about 10 minutes - MAX. You just want to slightly brown them not burn them like I usually do! Once those are done, really you just add your fruit, onlion and walnuts to your salad and you're good to go!
Ingredients for salad:
- 1/2 red onion - sliced into small thin strands
- 1 mango sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh organic blackberries
- 1 bag of fresh organic spinach leaves
- 1 stalk of Organic Romaine hearts - chopped and rinsed
Ingredients for dressing:
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup blackberries
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
Ingredients for walnuts:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- First, start roasting your walnuts so you can set aside and let them cool while you prep the rest of your salad.
- Mix oil, balsamic, honey and sea salt together. Lay walnuts flat on baking sheets and fully coat with mix. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Next, make your dressing. Add vinegar, balsamic, blackberries, oil and water to the blender and blend until fully mixed. Set aside in jar for later.
- Throw your chopped greens, onion, and walnuts in the salad. Top with mangos & blackberries. you can also add feta or goat cheese here if you like! A great combo! Top with your dressing and enjoy!