Detox Vegan Spinach Salad
This vegan spinach salad from The Decadent Detox 14-Day Cleanse is one of my go-to detox salads because it is super delicious; absolutely loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents; is alkaline-forming to aid cleansing; is a well combined salad for optimal digestion; and you can throw it together in less than 20 minutes!
I make a lot of spinach salad recipes to mix things up and keep it interesting and nutritionally diverse, but this spinach salad blend is my go-to recipe because it is low in carbs, and has a good quota of protein. You can add more protein by using more nuts and seeds.
This salad is also really flexible and one of the most popular recipes from The Decadent Detox cleanses.
You can mix up the nuts and seeds and low-carb veggies for all kinds of flavors and colors. Great creative and make this recipe your own!
How to make a healthy spinach salad
An amazing low carb spinach salad has a few essential components:
- Spinach (of course)
- Other leafy greens – mixed lettuce, arugula, shredded kale (optional)
- Non Starchy Vegetables such cabbage, celery, onion, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, bell peppers, sea vegetables, and sprouts.
- Low Sugar Fruits such as avocado, cucumber, tomato, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
- Fresh Herbs – chopped basil, mint, chives, parsley, or cilantro bring in aromatic flavor.
- Protein and Crunchy Element – raw nuts and seeds such as sliced almonds, blanched almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and watermelon seeeds are a great healthier and more easily digestible alternative to croutons, roasted chickpeas, and tofu or tempeh.
- Amazing Dressing – I do a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, lemon or lime juice and zest, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, spices (cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, coriander, paprika), and some kind of herb such as basil, mint, cilantro, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, or oregano (or a mixture of those.
As you create you own spinach salad recipes, write them down so you remember them. There’s nothing worse than creating an epic salad that everybody loves and not being able to recreate it!
My spinach salad ingredients
There are so many spinach salad recipes on the internet. But, many of them contain a lot of calories and have rich creamy dressings that contain sugar.
I’m keeping this detox spinach salad recipe really simple, and sticking to low-carb ingredients that are alkaline-forming to aid digestion and detox.
Here’s what’s in this spinach salad recipe:
- baby spinach
- red or green cabbage
- red onion
- raw shelled hemp seeds
- raw sunflower seeds
- raw pumpkin seeds
- raw almonds
Spinach salad dressing ingredients
There are lots of delicious salad dressings you can make for a spinach salad. But, many of them are high in calories. This is my go-to recipe. It’s really easy to make, inexpensive, contains just 5 ingredients, and it pairs well with any ingredients and flavors.
Here’s what’s in it:
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Throw all of the ingredients into a jar, secure the lid, and shake vigorously until well combined and emulsified. Too easy!
The health benefits of this spinach salad
This spinach salad is chock-full of nutrients to power your day. The folate and other B vitamins in spinach calm inflammation to fight fatigue. Spinach also contains an arsenal of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ammunition to oxygenate the blood and boosts the respiratory system. Filled with phytonutrients, fiber, manganese, iodine, and vitamins A and E, the cabbage soothes the nervous system while it fuels us. The mineral-rich water in cucumber and celery alkalizes and hydrates, while the avocado and nuts and seeds add healthy fats and highly digestible protein for muscle tone, circulation, and tissue repair. They also contain alkaline buffer minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to detox the liver, protect cellular integrity, and cleanse the colon.
The health benefits of spinach
With a mild taste that’s easily masked by fruits and vegetables, baby spinach is one of my go-to choices for healthy detox salads because it’s mild in flavor and pairs with absolutely everything!
Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse with twice the iron of other greens and loaded with of other minerals, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, chlorophyll, antioxidants, fiber, and anti-inflammatory agents. It also contains some protein to boost brain activity. Spinach is also a phenomenal detox food that is alkaline-forming to boost immunity. This leafy legend also helps oxygenate the blood, and aids respiratory, heart, bone, skin, eye, and digestive health.
Packed with fiber, spinach acts as a prebiotic food to encourage the proliferation of friendly bacteria to aid digestion and combat candida. And, with a good quota of folate, spinach is also an energizing food.
How to choose and store spinach
I always use baby spinach salads. Choose leaves that are vibrantly green. Avoid the yellowing, wilted, or slimy leaves that are past their prime. Yuk!
Keep your spinach in the clamshell in the fridge or in the sealed bag. If you’re buying it loose, keep it in a sealed ventilated container or wrap it in some paper towel, and put it in a bag. Use within 3 to 4 days.
Concerned about the oxalates in spinach?
If I had a dollar for every time I was asked, “What happens if you eat spinach every day?” or “What happens if you eat too much spinach?” I would own my own island in the South Pacific!
I joke, but they are legitimate questions. So, here’s the scoop:
You may have read that the oxalates in spinach can reduce the bioavailability of calcium and iron. If you’re worried about eating spinach because of the oxalates, you can consume spinach safely in moderation.
Oxalates and alkaloids are naturally occurring substances found in spinach (and other leafy greens and plants), and manufactured by the human body), and yes, they can be toxic in huge amounts.
Oxalates can contribute to kidney stones; and high concentrations of alkaloids can cause adverse symptoms including nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.
However, unless you’ve got a rare health condition like absorptive hypercalciuria type II, enteric hyperoxaluria, or primary hyperoxaluria, that requires strict oxalate and alkaloid restriction, or binge-blend 20 half-pound bags of spinach into one salad or smoothie, you can rest easy: raw spinach does not pose a threat to your health.
Although the majority of kidney stones are calcium oxalate in composition, studies have yet to show conclusively that oxalate intake (as opposed to oxalate manufacture by the body) significantly impacts kidney stone development.
Since dietary oxalate contributes only 10 to 15% of the oxalate measured in individuals forming kidney stones, the jury is still out as to whether reducing consumption effectively reduces risk.
This remains a controversial topic in clinical nutrition. Recent studies show that high intake of protein and calcium, and low intact of water promote calcium oxalate stone formation just as much, if not more than oxalate consumption.
So, here’s what I recommend when it comes to eating spinach and other leafy greens.
Eat spinach in moderation, and rotate your leafy greens.
A prudent approach to minimizing the effects of oxalates and alkaloids, and reducing the excessive accumulation of any single substance or nutrient, is to rotate your greens through the week, and eat a variety, both raw and cooked.
In addition to this, drink adequate amounts of water and consume a variety of other nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to aid the assimilation of nutrients and support the elimination of toxins.
And, take note of the most oxalate-dense greens, and eat those in smaller amounts than other greens and veggies.
The most oxalate-dense leafy greens are:
- Swiss chard
- beet greens
- collard greens
Is spinach better raw or cooked?
There are advantages and disadvantages of eating spinach raw and cooked. So, I mix it up and eat spinach both raw and cooked as part of a balanced diet.
Cooking spinach increases the availability of the protein and fiber, as well as vitamins A and E, thiamin, and minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc. The absorbability of important carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin is also greater with cooked spinach.
Steaming, blanching, or stir-frying spinach also reduces the oxalate levels a little.
However, cooking spinach degrades other vitamins and minerals and kills the enzymes. When you eat spinach raw, the vitamin C, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, and folate are more available.
Consume spinach both raw and cooked in moderation as part of a balanced diet that contains other leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. And prepare your foods in a variety of ways, both raw and cooked.
But, again, spinach is only a concern if you eat mountains of it or you have one of the specific medical conditions I listed above or are on certain medications. Consult your doctor if you’re concerned.
Gosh, way to dampen the enthusiam for this awesome spinach salad…..which is totally safe to eat!
I’m so used to answering these questions as part of my 14-day cleanse that I went into auto-pilot. If you want to join the live-guided cleanse and here all of this from me in person, here’s how:
Join The Decadent Detox 14-Day Cleanse
This is a live-guided clean eating and wellness program led by Tess Masters and Karen Kipp.
We lead the program and participate it in with you once every season/quarter. You can see the cleanse schedule here.
WHAT YOU GET WITH THE PROGRAM:
PERSONAL ACCESS TO US for 14 Days with:
- 7 Live Video Calls
- Daily Emails and Videos
- Access to our Facebook Group
PROGRAM MATERIALS INCLUDE:
- Toxicity Assessment – to evaluate your current state of health
- Wellness Assessment – to help you create your Wellness Plan
- 14-Day Seasonal Menu – recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
- Cleansing Foods Guide
- Pre-Cleanse Checklist
- Success Guide
- Shopping Lists – to make getting supplies easy
- Focus Chart – to help you stay on track
- Step-By-Step Daily Routines – to help you follow the program and organize your day
- Daily Journal – to document your progress
- Daily Guided Meditations – 10-min MP3 files to help you focus and relax each day
- Break-Fast Guide
- Better Health Guides – for Wellness Practices, Hydration, Sleep, Exercise, Meal Prep, Juices, and Smoothies, Alkaline Foods, Probiotic-Promoting Foods, Soaking, and Sprouting, Nut Milks, Colon Cleansing, Managing Detox Symptoms, Minimizing Toxins, Vision Boarding Guide – to help you set goals
- Wellness Plan – a roadmap for your journey after the cleanse
BONUS EXTRAS INCLUDE:
- The Keep Clean cookbook – digital download
- Natural Beauty cookbook – digital download
IN JUST 14 DAYS YOU WILL HAVE:
- More Energy
- Better Sleep
- Improved Digestion
- More Stabilized Blood Sugar
- Greater Mental Clarity
- Clearer Skin
- Lose Weight
If you want to join The Decadent Detox 14-Day Cleanse, you can learn more here.
Other low-carb salads
Chopped Salad with Avocado Dressing
Strawberry, Avocado, and Mâche Salad
Red Cabbage Slaw
Green Goddess Salad
Let me know what you think of this spinach salad in the comments!
Your feedback is important, and helps me decide which recipes to post next for you.