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Perfect Spring Salad with Michigan Apples!

Amanda Hernandez from The Nutritionist Reviews delights us with her Green Spring Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette recipe

Growing up on my parent's farm exposed me to many kinds of delicious Michigan apples. I remember when I was in about 4th grade being outside with my siblings picking up apples from the ground to feed to the deer. I remember feeling like there were millions of apples to pickup and like we would never be done. Looking back, it was a wonderful memory of time spent with my siblings. We would goof off, eat some apples and were doing something good by helping out my parents.

As the years went on, I continue to have memories of Michigan apples. Helping my dad prune the trees in the winter, seeing them bud in the spring, watching little apples grow in the summer and picking the ripe apples in the fall.

My parents trees produce a ton of apples (on good years) and we are lucky enough to be able to take a bunch of apples home to store for a couple months in our fridge. We mostly just eat the apples raw because I love them so much but we also do some cooking with them. I love making healthy baked apples and apple crisp.

Also, I make one or two giant pots of wild Michigan apple no-sugar applesauce which I freeze in containers. I used to just eat it myself but now, I feed it to my daughter who I think may be the biggest apple fan there is. She is 16 months old and calls them “papps” and picked her own this fall at my parents farm. Whenever she sees an apple, she gets super excited. I understand where she is coming from because I get excited too!

Outside of applesauce, apple crisp, baked apples and raw apples, I love to use apples in a salad. I picked up some Michigan Jonagold apples for this recipe and loved their sweet-tart flavor. This green salad is perfect for spring with light spring vegetables and a fresh lemon vinaigrette.


Servings: 4

Salad Lemon Vinaigrette
4 cups baby spinach                      1/2 cup olive oil  
4 cups baby kale                              Juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted      1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup pea pods, sliced into thirds      1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 zucchini      1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 avocado, sliced
1 large Michigan jonagold apple, sliced

1. Take a peeler and make make zucchini ribbons by peeling long, wide strips of zucchini.
2. On a large serving dish, lay out spinach and kale. Top with peas, pea pods, zucchini ribbons, avocado and apple.
3. Whisk together all ingredients for lemon vinaigrette.
4. Pour vinaigrette over salad and enjoy!

Amanda Hernandez is a registered dietitian and recipe developer. She grew up on a farm filled with apple trees and apples are one of her favorite foods! She is the author of The Nutritionist Reviews, a healthy recipe, nutrition, fitness and parenting blog. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.