spring salads recipes

The Best Foods for Spring Season

Do you find that all of a sudden you start to crave fresh, light, and nutritious foods? Not into wholehearted soups with a side of bread these days? Well, it’s called spring, and it’s here! With the seasons change, our mind signals our body that it's time to shed the heaviness of winter and get ready for the warmer months ahead.

Moving out of Winter Nutrition

During the winter months, our bodies tend to crave heavier, warming foods like stews, soups, and casseroles. These foods provide us with the energy we need to keep warm and keep our bodies functioning properly in cold weather. However, as the weather starts to warm up, our bodies begin to need less of these heavy, warming foods and more of lighter, fresher foods that are full of vitamins and minerals.

Spring Nutrition

Spring is a great time to start incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. These foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that will help boost your immune system and improve your energy levels.

Here are ten of the best foods to eat in the spring season (recipes to follow!):

Asparagus: Asparagus is a springtime favorite and is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and folate. It also contains antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
  1. Spinach: Spinach is another great springtime vegetable that is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and calcium. It is also a good source of fiber and antioxidants.
  2. Radishes: Radishes are a low-calorie vegetable, high in vitamin C fiber, and antioxidants.
  3. Strawberries: Strawberries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. They are also a good source of fiber and can help promote healthy skin.
  4. Artichokes: Artichokes are a springtime favorite rich in vitamins C and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants. They also contain compounds that can help improve digestion and promote liver health.
  5. Peas: Peas are a great source of plant-based protein and are also high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. 
  6. Fava beans: Fava beans are a delicious and nutritious legume that is high in protein, fiber, and iron. They are also a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants.
  7. Avocado: Avocado is a nutrient-dense fruit that is high in healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. It is also a good source of vitamins C, K, and B6, as well as potassium.
  8. Beets: Beets are a colorful and nutritious vegetable that is high in fiber, folate, and antioxidants. They are also a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron and potassium.
  9. Carrots: Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect your cells from damage. They are also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, and potassium.

Spring Meal Planning

With the warmer weather and longer days, you might feel more motivated to make positive changes to your diet and way of life. One effective way to do this is through meal planning. By planning your meals in advance, you can ensure that you're eating nutritious, seasonal foods that will give you the energy you need to enjoy all that spring has to offer.

When planning your spring meals, it's important to focus on fresh, colorful ingredients that are in season. Life & Apples Meal Planner has a dedicated seasonal produce guide to help you see what’s in season and plan fresh, seasonal meals.

Spring Salads Recipes 

To help you welcome spring with fresh flavors, here are three delicious salad recipes, using the best produce spring offers and inspired by the Mediterranean Diet.

Strawberry, Spinach, and Avocado Salad

spring salad recipe strawberries, avocado and spinach salad

Ingredients:

    • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
    • 1 cup sliced strawberries
1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced raw almonds or cashew nuts
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • Instructions:

    In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, avocado, feta cheese, and almonds. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette to taste.

    Balsamic Vinaigrette:

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Instructions:

    1. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.
    2. Slowly add the olive oil to the bowl while continuing to whisk until the mixture is emulsified and well combined.
    3. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust seasoning if needed.
    4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

    Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad

    spring salad recipe with roasted beets and carrots

    Ingredients:

    • 2 medium beets, peeled and diced
    • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 cups mixed greens
    • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
    • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    • Lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    2. Toss the beets and carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them out on a baking sheet.
    3. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized.
    4. In a large bowl, toss the mixed greens with the roasted beets and carrots.
    5. Top with crumbled goat cheese and chopped walnuts.
    6. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette to taste.

    Lemon Vinaigrette:

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Instructions:

    1. In a small bowl, whisk together the fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.
    2. Slowly add the olive oil to the bowl while continuing to whisk until the mixture is emulsified and well combined.
    3. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust seasoning if needed.
    4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
    5. When ready to use, give the vinaigrette a good shake or stir to recombine the ingredients.

    This lemon vinaigrette is great for salads, roasted vegetables, grilled meats, and fish.

    Radishes and Greens Salad

    radishes salad recipe

    Ingredients:

    • 4 cups mixed salad greens
    • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
    • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Instructions:

      1. Rinse and trim the radishes, then slice them thinly using a sharp knife or mandoline slicer.
      2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the salad greens, sliced radishes, sliced cucumber, mint, and dill. 
    In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    1. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.