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Summer time, don't we  love the sunshine, and the lazy days....but our appetites curb down and we look for easy, light, and healthy meals.  

Check out some powerful fruits and veggies that make delicious summer salads.

Avocados are rich in folic acid, a B vitamin that prevents birth defects, stimulates red blood cell production and helps prevent cervical cancer.  It can reduce risks of heart attack and stroks.  Avocado also has large amounts of beta carotene, which fights cancer and supports the immune system.  It also contains monosaturated fats that help lower LLD levels (bad cholesterol).

Broccoli is chock full of vitamin C and beta carotenes that fight cataracts, cancer and heart disease, and strengthens the immune system.  Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a chemical linked ro reduced cancer cells, especially lung cancer.

Cantaloupe is also full of beta carotene, and can prevent premature aging.  It also helps rid the body of damaging free radicals; cancer causing agents.

Grapefruit packs a generous amount of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and combatant in the fight against free radical diseases, including cancer and cataracts.  Citrus promotes the immune system, prevents early aging, and the fiber in grapefruit fights colon cancer.  

Strawberries offer a great dose of immune boosting vitamin C,  fiber, and contain ellagicv acids that help fight cancer.  

Blueberries are a powerhouse fruit with a mighty punch!  Bluberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fruit, neutralize free radicals, aid in reducing belly fat, help preserve vision, promote urinary tract health, and fight cancers. 
Spinach is nutrient dense food, and an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Avocado Cantaloupe Salad
  • 2 tablespoons  sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cups baby arugula or spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cantaloupe - peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

Whisk the sugar, paprika, salt, mustard, vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper together in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking rapidly until the salad dressing is thick and creamy.
Place the arugula or spinach leaves into a salad bowl, and sprinkle with the cantaloupe and avocado pieces. Drizzle with the salad dressing, then sprinkle with toasted almonds to serve.

Avocado Grapefruit Wrap
  • 1 cup cucumber cut in 1-inch matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet red onion
  • 1 large grapefruit, sectioned, reserving juice
  • 2 fully ripened Avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves

In a small bowl, combine cucumber and onion.
In a medium bowl, place 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice with oil, honey, jalapeno and salt.
Add cucumber mixture; toss. Add grapefruit sections and sliced Avocado; toss gently.
Use lettuce leaves for wraps.

Spinach/Orange Salad
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 (10 ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 2 sweet oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a blender, combine the orange juice concentrate, sugar, vinegar, onion and salt. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Stir in poppy seeds. Transfer to a small pitcher or bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chilled.
On salad plates, arrange the spinach, oranges and almonds. Drizzle with dressing.

Strawberry and Feta Salad
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the almonds, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and set aside.
In a bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, toss together the toasted almonds, romaine lettuce, strawberries, and feta cheese. Cover with the dressing mixture, and toss to serve.

Blueberry Spinach Salad
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, torn
  • 4 ounce package blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine the first five ingredients and shake well. In a large salad bowl, toss the spinach, blue cheese, blueberries and pecans. Add dressing and toss gently; serve immediately.

Fresh Broccoli/Grape Salad
  • 2 head fresh broccoli
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 3/4 cup halfed red grapes
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Cool and crumble.
Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-size slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins, your favorite nuts and mix well.
To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad, let sit and chill for at least several hours and serve.
Be healthy, be safe, take your Vitamins for Women, and be blessed, Kersten
Posted in: Body, Spirit

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