We’re approaching berry season, so let’s get our berry fix with this delicious berry salad with five types of berries! Don’t see five types of berries in the picture? Certain foods we don’t commonly think of as berries are actually berries. On the other hand, some of the foods we call berries are not really berries at all. Read on to learn more!
My preferred diet aligns reasonably well with certain low-carb diets in the sense that I include plenty of non-starchy veggies and protein. Though I don’t exclude grains from my diet, I do typically limit them, particularly the refined grains. The place where I radically diverge from standard low-carb diets is in my use of starchy veggies and fruit.
Ohhhhh, the fruit.
In my opinion, hardly anything can top a bowl of ripe, local fruit in the late spring and early summer. It is one of the things I miss most mid-winter.
Fruits (including the low-carb fruit options) are high in volume and low in calories. They have fiber and water that provides bulk to low-calorie meals. Through the years, including lots of fresh fruit in my diet has helped me to lose weight and to maintain the loss.
Most of the fruits we refer to as berries do fit well into low-carb plans. Speaking of berries, have you studied the photos in search of the five types of berries? Here they are:
- Raspberries (in the vinaigrette dressing)
- … and Avocado!
That’s right; avocados botanically count as a berry. If you use black pepper in the raspberry vinaigrette, that is a berry too. The orange juice we’ve squeezed on the avocado comes from oranges (obviously), which are also berries!
So that makes a total of seven berries here, right? Not so fast.
Some of these things we call berries are not actually berries.
For the sake of our berry salad, I am allowing foods with “berry” in the name to count as a berry. And blueberries, in fact, are true berries. However, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries aren’t technically considered berries botanically.
Calling this a five-berry salad is a bit of a lie! Sorry, botanists. Haha
Blackberries and raspberries are aggregate fruits consisting of many small subunits called drupes. Unlike blueberries and other true berries that develop from one flower with one ovary, raspberries and blackberries have flowers with multiple ovaries. Thus, they are not true berries.
The part of the strawberry we think of as the fruit is technically the swollen receptacle tissue that connected the flower to the stem. It’s the part we think of as the strawberry seeds that are the fruit, each containing a small single seed.
So, there you go. This is most definitely a berry salad, but perhaps not for the reasons you’d think!
One more thing. A huge downside to the fresh foods we commonly refer to as “berries” is that they do not last long. Fresh raspberries, in particular, often stay fresh for only 1-2 days.
Though I typically like to meal prep my lunch salads several days ahead, you are taking a risk with this one! I did it, and my salads by day 4 were ok. However, if your berries are not very, very fresh, you’re likely to end up with mold by the time you get to the last of your salads.
Instead of using this one as a lunch meal prep, consider trying it for a light family dinner. Berries tend to be a food that even picky young children enjoy, and this berry salad is packed with them!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Berry Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette (Five Types of Berries!)
- 8 ounces spring lettuce mix (227 grams)
- 8 ounces frisee, chopped (227 grams; or another green if you dislike frisee)
- ½ cup microgreens (optional, but so nice)
- ¼ cup basil, finely chopped
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- 6 ounces blackberries (170 grams)
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 medium avocado, chopped
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 4 ounces feta, crumbled (113 grams)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted (toasting them a few minutes in a dry skillet really increases their flavor)
- 1 lb grilled chicken breast pieces (454 grams; seasoned however you would like; leftover chicken is perfect here)
For the fresh raspberry vinaigrette:
- 6 ounces raspberries (170 grams)
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Put all of the ingredients for the raspberry vinaigrette in a blender or food processor and blend. Set aside while you assemble the salads.
- Sprinkle the chopped avocado with the orange juice to help prevent browning.
- Divide the spring lettuce mix and frisee between four large bowls. Top each with an equal amount of basil and microgreens.
- Divide the berries, avocado, grilled chicken, and sunflower seeds between the salad bowls. Top with the feta.
- Drizzle the raspberry vinaigrette on right before serving. Enjoy!
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). If I wanted to lower the calories on this one, I would cut the amount of sunflower seeds in half (to ¼ cup, or 1T per salad). Another strategy would be to use fat-free feta. For higher energy, you could add a side of bread or crackers and use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.
What are some of your favorite fruits that are in season in your area? Were you surprised about what counts as a berry, and what doesn’t? Leave me a comment; let’s talk food!