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By Susan Greeley, MS, RDN

Summer brings many flavorful foods into season, particularly a bounty of sweet berries and leafy greens. To pack in great flavor without a fuss, simple summer salads make eating light both easy and delicious. The added benefits are plenty as well when it comes to our moods. – Not only are these phytonutrient-rich foods good for managing weight, but they also help support our mental health!

Servings: 2 large salads

8 cups fresh spinach, washed and patted dry
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
¼ cup sliced raw or toasted almonds (or chopped pecans)
¼ cup raw or roasted pumpkin seeds

For added protein: add grilled salmon or shrimp as a meal option

Place all ingredients in a large serving bowl and drizzle with honey balsamic dressing. Toss well and serve immediately.

Honey Balsamic Dressing:
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp hot water
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor and blend on high until dressing becomes “creamy.” Pour any remaining dressing into a glass jar. Seal and refrigerate. Use homemade dressings daily on fresh salads!

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