July 18, 2019

Spinach Salad Idea! Spinach, Feta and Blueberries in a Vinaigrette with... Sugar Free Candied Almonds!


This is one of those salads I used to throw together with Craisins but we are low carbing right now so I don't even buy the 'low sugar' version of those at this moment.  I also would often use sliced fresh strawberries. Opt for craisins, raisins, fresh strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds; things like that!  I used frozen blueberries for this one.  Well, they were frozen but then I was in a hurry to get them into the salad so I ran them under water for a few seconds and then let them drain on a paper towel.

The dressing is also an 'up to you' choice as well as the fruit.  Regular Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette or the fat free or sugar free versions... as well as Balsamic Vinaigrette, Poppy Seed dressings... and they can be homemade or store bought.

Lastly!  The sugar free candied almonds...   You can use almonds or pecans and they don't necessarily have to be candied.  The reason I like to 'candy' them is because the sweetness of the 'candied' almonds or pecans offsets the bite of the balsamic vinegar.  They just go so well together!  But if you simply want to quickly toast them in a pan on the stove for a few minutes until they are starting to turn golden - that's fine.  Just let them cool first before adding them.

TO MAKE THEM CANDIED:  I did this part while I threw together the rest of the salad. And because we do not use sugar, I make mine SUGAR FREE by using natural sweeteners.  You could use sugar/brown sugar if you are not sugar free.

Sugar free Candied Almonds

1 1/2 - 2 c raw almonds or pecans (chopped, sliced, whole, whatever)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup granular natural sweetener of choice
2 T any brown sugar version sweetener you can find in your area or online
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F; Line a large pan with foil and grease with butter for best flavor but you could use a spray like Pam if you wish. Pour almonds in a mixing bowl.  Combine your granular sweetener and brown sweetener; add a lightly beaten egg white. Pour over nuts, toss to coat. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt if you desire a sweet/salty. Bake 30 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool on waxed paper; store in airtight container. 

I make this salad when I want to 'use up' mounds of fresh spinach before it starts to turn, as I buy the really large containers of it at Sam's Club or Costco.  I also wanted to use up the last 1/3 of the balsamic dressing in the refrigerator so this recipe was a no brainer!

Spinach Salad with Feta and Blueberries

1 package or desired amount of fresh baby spinach leaves
Feta Cheese, crumbled
3/4 c fresh blueberries (or strawberries, etc)
Balsamic dressing of your choice (original, creamy, raspberry, pomegranate, poppy seed, etc.)
Almonds or Pecans; toasted, sugared almonds, chopped

Start with a bowl or serving plate of desired amount of spinach leaves.  Sprinkle on feta and fresh or dried fruit and nuts according to how it looks and how much you desire.   Just before serving drizzle with the dressing.  

Print Friendly and PDF