No one has time for boring salad and this rainbow crunch salad is my go-to one for the summer! It has a rainbow of veggies from spinach and avocados to beets and red bell peppers. I dress it with a delicious, creamy blueberry vinaigrette. As a Health Coach, I am constantly getting asked for salad recipes that aren't boring. What I tell my clients is you need a salad for every season like this Rainbow Crunch Salad for the summer or a fall chopped salad, a spring asparagus salad, or a kale caesar salad.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Nutrient Dense: This recipe is packed full of colorful veggies, which means that you are getting a variety of nutrients in every bite! People always ask what the healthiest salad is and I respond, one with lots of color is key.
Customizable: You can customize this salad to make it your own. Add or subtract any veggies or fruit that you wish.
Meal Prep: This is a great salad to prep for the week. You can store it in mason jars or just chop all the produce ahead of time to make for easy assembly. Then it is easy to make for lunches or a quick dinner all week. Feel free to add your favorite protein to keep you full even longer.
Ingredients You'll Need
Spinach: Spinach is the main lettuce in this salad and it one of the best greens to use for a salad! It is full of iron, potassium, and calcium. It aids in lowering blood pressure, regulating digestion and blood sugar, and so much more.
Golden Beets: They are in season during the summer, which makes them perfect for any summer chop salad. These are high in fiber, folate, potassium, iron and many more essential nutrients. Beets are known to lower blood pressure and increase exercise capacity.
Carrots: Another way to add some sweetness and crunch to this salad. Carrots are full of vitamin A, biotin and beta carotene. They aid in eye health, lowering cholesterol, and weight loss.
Red Onion: Red onions are full of antioxidants which help fight inflammation. They also have folate, manganese, and some vitamin C. They are antibacterial, help digestion (for some), and can help reduce your risk of cancer.
Red Bell Pepper: These add a nice sweetness to any salad. They are full of Vitamin A and Vitamin C so they can help boost your immune system and can support you overall eye health.
Avocado: Not only are avocados a source of healthy fats, but they have magnesium, potassium, and lots of fiber. They help reduce the risk of many health conditions!
Blueberries: The dressing for this salad is a creamy blueberry vinaigrette and with berry season here, there is nothing better than a sweet blueberry! These little berries are high in Vitamin K and Vitamin C. They are an antioxidant and are super heart health and anti inflammatory.
Cashew Butter: This is where the creaminess of the creamy blueberry vinaigrette comes from. IF you haven't had cashew butter, it is similar to creamy peanut butter but has a caramel flavor to it. I really like Artisana Naturals because it is made with only a couple ingredients and is extra creamy.
Lemon Juice: This adds a nice tartness to the dressing to help balance out the sweetness of the blueberries.
Garlic: Garlic is known for its anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It helps fight many diseases like the common cold, heart disease, and others.
Maple Syrup: This dressing needs something a little sweet in it and maple syrup is it! If you have never had pure maple syrup, you are missing out because there is nothing better. I love cooking with maple syrup.
Olive Oil: It is really important to get a high quality olive oil and one that is 100% olive oil, the food industry likes to cut corners when it comes to oils so be sure you check your labels.
Salt and pepper
How to Make Rainbow Crunch Salad and Blueberry Vinaigrette
Cook the beets: To cook the beets, I add them to my Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. I then release the pressure and it makes peeling and cutting the beets a breeze. You can also roast them in the oven until they are fork tender.
Make the Dressing: Combine all the ingredients into a blender or food process. I love my Ninja food processor for this. Blend until smooth.
Build the salad: Add each ingredient to a bowl and drizzle the creamy blueberry vinaigrette on top.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Time saver: If you are trying to save some time use a food processor to chop your vegetables or buy pre-cut vegetables. This salad does require some chopping efforts, but you can cut down on that with a food processor or finding ones at the store that are chopped for you.
How to serve: The is a delicious salad on its own, however if you want to add protein to help sustain you for longer periods, go for it! I love grilled chicken or grilled steak on it best, but shrimp or salmon would be delicious, too.
Nut free option: If you don't like cashew butter or have a nut allergy you can omit the cashew butter! A substitution for this is tahini.
High protein: If you are someone that needs more protein, feel free to add any protein to this salad. I like grilled chicken or steak best!
Salad in a jar: You can create this salad and store it in mason jars for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I recommend keeping the dressing on the side.
Prep: If you chop the veggies ahead of time, just store in separate air tight containers with a paper towel in each (to absorb the moisture) for up to 5-7 days.
Dressing: This dressing stays good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
FAQs About Rainbow Crunch Salad
How do you jazz up a boring salad?
I always tell my clients to add more color if you are feeling your salad is boring- the more color the more variety of veggies you will have. My equation for an exciting salad is greens, something crunchy, something starchy, and then add as many veggies as you like. Don't forget a delicious dressing! I really like dairy-free ranch or caesar dressing.
What are the best vegetables for a salad?
I always find the best veggies for a salad are the ones that are in season. This is because they will be the freshest (and the cheapest) at that time of the year. Some staples I always have in a salad are onions, tomatoes, and a hearty green leaf veggie. From there add a rainbow of colorful veggies!
What is the most healthy salad you can make?
Honestly, one like this Rainbow Crunch Salad is going to be the healthiest. The reason I say this is the healthiest is because it has something from every color in the rainbow. Each color represents a different nutrient, so the more colors you have the more micro-nutrients you are getting!
Rainbow Crunch Salad
- 4 cups Spinach
- 1 cup Carrots diced
- 1 cup Red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup Red Bell Pepper diced
- 1 Avocado
- 3 Golden Beets
- ¼ cup Blueberries
- 2 tablespoon Cashew Butter I like Artisana Naturals
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1 teaspoon Garlic mined
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the stems from the golden beets and place them on the trivet in the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 15-20 minutes depending on the size. Then release the pressure.
- Remove the peels from the beets and then dice into quarter inch pieces.
- For the dressing, add all the Dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Dive the ingredients into 4 equal size bowls and build the salads dividing each ingredients amongst each bowl.
- Drizzle the creamy blueberry dressing over the top and enjoy!