When the sun is high in the sky and the temperature climbs into the 80's and 90's (and for folks in the desert, even higher), staying hydrated is key. Crunchy, watery vegetable salads can be both cleansing and hydrating, and offer a host of phytonutrients to nourish and fortify us. They can also calm inflammation with their cooling properties. Health benefits aside, these salads are simply delicious!
01 of 10
This cucumber, tomato and avocado salad is a crunchy, juicy and creamy, cooling summer favorite. Cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, mixed sweet herbs and red onion are bathed in a light balsamic vinaigrette. Want to keep it super simple? Tomato and Herb Salad is a loving tribute to the glory of freshly picked tomatoes.
02 of 10
This crunchy, Japanese-inspired, cucumber and seaweed salad recipe is great for warmer weather, when our bodies require extra hydration. Cucumbers are rich in silica, potassium, and fiber, and are cooling as well as hydrating for the skin. Seaweed is a rich source of essential minerals. Not a seaweed fan? Try Cucumber and Mint Salad or Cucumber, Tomato and Basil Salad instead, for a cooling and moistening, anti-inflammatory side dish.
03 of 10
Light, cool, and refreshing, this vegan, gluten free whole foods recipe for Napa cabbage and vegetable coleslaw is quick, easy, and a wonderful accompaniment to dishes like rice and beans that need some enzymes served on the side. This slaw is also a great alternative to regular coleslaw, as the dressing is very light, and it is made with either Napa or Savoy cabbage, both of which are curly and juicier than regular green cabbage. Two other very light options are Green Slaw and Asian Style... Cabbage Salad. The recipe was inspired by the hot days of summer, when our bodies need maximum hydration.
04 of 10
This extra simple, macrobiotic version of a classic summer side dish is made without the red peppers and spiciness of more traditional recipes. While the recipe calls for cilantro, feel free to try dill or basil instead. Corn is healing for the heart, digestion, and kidneys; celery is cooling, rich in silicon and healing to the liver and connective tissue. Green Bean and Corn Salad is another great summer pick. For a bit of kick, you can't go wrong with Spicy Corn Salad, or Southwestern... Black Bean and Corn Salad. With all of these recipes, PLEASE make sure you use non-GMO corn.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
This recipe for raw summer noodles with spicy almond sauce is a gluten, grain and dairy free vegan version of spicy noodles with peanut sauce. A delightfully creamy, slightly spicy almond sauce envelops your choice of raw kelp noodles or ribbons of courgette (petite young zucchini). Kelp Noodles with Broccoli and Creamy Avocado Dressing is another, similar option. Keep in mind that kelp noodles, while very tasty, contain few calories and little fiber, so are not a substitute of whole grains.
06 of 10
Pea Shoot Salad With Daikon Radish and Ginger Lime Vinaigrette
Young pea shoots are a sweet and welcome sign of the warm weather growing season, and can be found in Asian markets during much of the year. If you can't find pea shoots, use sunflower sprouts instead, which are available all year. Tossed with baby greens, carrots and shredded daikon radish, they provide ample amounts of vitamins C, A, K, potassium, folate, and folic acid. The salad is an excellent cleansing dish, as it supports liver and gallbladder purification, and rids the body of mucus.... Carrots and daikon are also excellent lung foods. A simple gingery vinaigrette adds zest to this simple salad.
07 of 10
A crisp, fresh alternative to both green salads and side vegetables, this recipe for summer vegetable salad is at its best using produce from your local farm stand or farmer’s market.
08 of 10
Chopped Vegetable Salad
This 5 minute chopped vegetable salad is chock full of vital phtyonutrients and antioxidants and leaves plenty of room for variation. Carrots give vitamin A,, beta carotene and are beneficial for the lungs, liver, indigestion, and acidic blood. Similarly, beets are strengthening for the heart, digestion and liver, and help purify the blood. They are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, folate and manganese. Add hydrating, potassium rich celery, lycopene packed tomatoes, sweet green herbs with... their chlorophyll and healing energies, and the rich, healthy fat of avocado, and you've got a satisfying salad that's perfect for a light meal. You can add some beans, nuts or seeds for extra protein (see below in variations) or vary the veggies according to what you have around.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Kale Salad With Artichokes, Cannellini Beans and Herbs
Kale salads are great in the summertime as well as other seasons. I like to use young greens or baby kale for these because the leaves are typically more tender and easier to digest than their more mature counterparts. Other options to this meal-in-a-bowl include Lemon Garlic Marinated Kale Salad, piquant Mediterranean Marinated Kale, savory Herbed Kale Salad, and the slightly sweet Kale Salad With Cranberries, Citrus and Red Onion.
10 of 10
This crunch, tangy, spicy and sweet recipe for Thai cellophane noodle and vegetable salad with spicy lime dressing can be served as either a starter or light main course. Cellophane noodles are gluten and grain free (they're made from mung beans), so this is great for a restricted diet. I love the mix of warm (dressing) and cool (raw veggies) temperatures that you get by serving it immediately, but you can also serve the salad at room temperature.