I’m loving this fresh avocado and berry salad lately.
It’s super nutritious but also tastes heavenly, with rich and creamy avocado, plus fresh and tart summer berries, plus crunchy pine nuts, plus sweet and velvety homemade mango vinaigrette.
And as I type the recipe, I’m realizing just how very much I love this combo of flavors.
Because I’m noticing it’s almost a replica of one of my favorite smoothies, my Shine Smoothie (Avocado-Mango-Berry Smoothie), in a summer salad form.
I seem to have a huge, adoring crush on the Avocado-Mango-Berry Combo.
It’s that yummy blend of creamy, tart, and sweet that steals my heart …
… what’s not to love?
I call this an”anti-aging” summer salad because it’s jam-packed with healthy whole foods shown to help skin stay soft, smooth, clear, and youthful looking:
- Avocado – packed with biotin, a vitamin that prevents brittle hair and nails and dry skin
- Blackberries and Raspberries – loaded with the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that are crucial for helping the body to age well
- Spinach – full of folate, which helps skin maintain and repair DNA
- Pine Nuts – packed with Vitamin E, known for speeding up healthy skin cell regeneration
- Mango – full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives skin a rosy glow and combats the skin-damaging effects of the sun
- Honey – contains polyphenols (strong antioxidants that destroy the free radicals that damage healthy skin cells)
- Canola Oil – full of the heart-healthy kind of fat (monounsaturated fat) that is required to help the body absorb all the nutrients and vitamins found in this salad (in other words, a bit of healthy fat in salad dressing is healthier than a fat-free dressing)
Here’s everything you need to get started.
Begin by toasting the pine nuts.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Arrange the pine nuts so they’re not overlapping on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until the pine nuts are lightly toasted and golden.
Keep a close eye on them – they burn quickly!
Substitution: toasted almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds also work well in this salad.
Meanwhile, prepare the homemade Mango Vinaigrette.
Toss some frozen chopped mango into a food processor or blender (thaw the mango for a minute or two in the microwave first).
Then add some white wine vinegar, some honey, some canola oil, and a bit of water.
Puree until you have a thick, smooth, velvety dressing.
Next, grab an avocado and cut it in half lengthwise. You’ll feel a large pit in the center, just cut around it.
Twist the two sides you’ve cut in opposite directions to pull apart the two halves.
Then use a spoon to scoop out the pit.
Cut thin slices of avocado.
And then use the spoon to scoop the avocado from the skin.
Optional: Avocados brown quickly after they’re removed from the skin. If you’re worried about how it looks and you’d like to keep the avocado green and fresh, immediately drizzle some fresh lemon juice all over the avocado.
Arrange some baby spinach on serving plates, then add plenty of avocado slices.
Next, add handfuls of fresh blackberries and raspberries.
Substitution: any fresh berries, such as strawberries or blueberries, taste great in this salad.
Drizzle Mango Vinaigrette all over the top, and sprinkle on some of the toasted pine nuts.
Dive into a nice big serving of fresh summer salad, knowing you’re also helping your skin to an age-defying bowlful of vitamins and antioxidants.
The taste is fresh, summery, and lightly sweet.
The avocado is rich and filling, complemented by the crunchy, slightly salty flavor of the pine nuts.
My Avocado-Mango-Berry crush isn’t going away any time soon.
And there’s a bonus side effect to indulging in this combo often: gorgeous, glowing skin!
Prep: 7 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 main course servings
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 10 ounces baby spinach
- 8 ounces blackberries
- 8 ounces raspberries
- 2 small avocados, halved, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
- Mango Vinaigrette
- ½ cup frozen chopped mango, thawed
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- 2½ tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the pine nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, or until the pine nuts are lightly golden – watch carefully, as they burn quickly.
- In a food processor or blender, add the chopped mango, honey, canola oil, vinegar, and water. Puree until vinaigrette is smooth and creamy.
- Arrange the spinach, berries, and avocado on serving plates. Drizzle Mango Vinaigrette over the salad. Top with toasted pine nuts.