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Winter Fruit & Cashew Salad

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This Winter Fruit & Cashew Salad isn’t your typical fruit salad. With a base of spring mix lettuce and baby spinach, this salad is loaded with our favorite winter fruits and topped with a lemon poppy seed Vinaigrette dressing! Perfect for a casual dinner and pretty enough to serve to guests!




Who said eating healthy has to be bland?  

When I first met my husband I learned pretty quickly that he loved a good salad. For some reason {Thank you T.V.} I had it in my mind that men never liked salads. Salads were always portrayed as a women’s food.

However my husband loves a good salad, and it is not uncommon for us to go out and he gets a nice large salad and I get a steak.  We both love salad and especially a salad that isn’t the bland bag of lettuce with a few veggies.

We love salads that are packed with fruit, nuts and often protein. 

As is, this Winter Fruit and Cashew Salad isn’t a main dish. However if you added a grilled chicken breast on top you could easily transform this side dish into a main dish!

When you think about a fruit salad, you generally think of a bowl of fresh cut fruit tossed with a dressing. This salad however includes fresh greens as well. A combination of baby spinach and spring mix create a healthy and delicious base to any green salad.




Pears – You’ll want to find a ripe juicy pear.  Pears that are not perfectly ripe and still crunchy distract from the overall experience.  Unripe pears aren’t very sweet.  A ripe pear however, adds a natural sweetness to the salad that really pushes this salad over the top in flavor.

Apples – Use whatever apple is in season.  We love a good Honey Crisp or Fuji apple but that’s because we prefer a crunchy apple. However a Golden Delicious or Gala would work well too!  Just use whatever kind you prefer the taste of.

Dried Cranberries – Also known as Craisins, dried cranberries are such a yummy snack to keep in the cupboard.  We call them natures fruit snacks as they aren’t tart at all.  Chewy, yummy and perfect in this salad or cookies!




First you’ll want to whip up the yummy lemon poppy seed vinaigrette dressing.  Once that is created, pop it into the fridge until you are ready to use it.  

Next you’ll whip up the salad.  This will include getting the spring mix and baby spinach washed, dried and mixed together.  Once your lettuce is ready then add your diced up fresh fruits.  Skins can remain on the pears and apples or you can remove them.  The choice is yours.  Add your cheese & nuts as well. 

The order wont matter.  I’ve been known to put half the lettuce mixture down, then half the nuts, cheese and fruit.  Then I’ll put a second layer of lettuce followed by the other ingredients a well. This works great for when you are feeding a large group.  I’ve found that if feeding a larger group, if you add all the toppings on top, the first few people get a nice selection but the last few people at the table only get lettuce.

By layering the salad, you ensure that everyone gets fruit, nuts and cheese with their salad.  I caution you not to “toss” your salad as I’ve found that the fruit and nuts always sink to the bottom of the bowl when tossed.  However if you’ve had good luck with this in the past, go for it!  




There are two kinds of dressing in this world.  The first is a creamy dressing, which is usually made with a mayonnaise or yogurt base. The second is a vinaigrette dressing, which is an oil and acid dressing.  Vinaigrette dressings are known to be healthier and thinner.  

This Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette dressing is an oil and lemon juice base with the addition sugar, onion, salt and poppy seeds.  Overall the dressing comes together beautifully and the sugar adds a sweetness to balance out the tart lemon.




Have you heard the debate about whether you should eat your salad before or after your meal?  If not, then you are about to!

When I first married my husband he told me that you should eat your salad after your meal.  I though had always eaten it before.

From what I can find there isn’t a right or wrong answer.  Both have benefits.

In the United States, it is common to eat salad before your main dish or even with your main dish.  The benefit of eating it first is that it helps to fill your stomach so you eat less of the main dish and sides.  In addition to helping you feel full sooner, it also ensures that you get your vegetable intake for the day!  

In France and Italy (and a few other places a well) they believe that you should eat your salad after your meal.  It is believed that if you eat it after your meal it helps with digestion.  The French and Italians also serve vinaigrette with their salad of which it is said to help with the flavor of your after dinner wine.

Despite whether you serve it before or after your meal, the idea is to serve it, eat your daily dose of green and enjoy the health benefits of eating healthier!


Of course!  Other winter fruits that you might add are pomegranate seeds, kiwi, mandarin oranges or clementines.  If you make this in the summer, feel free to add fresh berries like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries etc.  All taste great!



Though not a traditional fruit salad,  this easy Winter Fruit salad adds the health benefits of a green lettuce, spinach and yummy cashews!  Such a wonderful and easy salad that will impress your family and dinner guests!  

Don’t hesitate to whip this up for a lunch or add a breast of grilled chicken to make this into a main dish!


Yield: 6 Servings

Winter Fruit & Cashew Salad

Winter Fruit & Cashew Salad - zoomed in image with dressing on.

This Winter Fruit & Cashew Salad isn't your typical fruit salad. Spring Mix Lettuce, Spinach, Fruits, Cashews & a Lemon Poppy Seed dressing!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 bag of Spring Mix Salad Blend
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup whole cashews
  • 1/4 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 1 apple, peeled & diced
  • 1 pear, peeled & diced


  1. Blend sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, & salt.
  2. While blender is going, pour oil into the top spout.
  3. Once well mixed, add poppy seeds and blend till mixed.
  4. Pour into serving bottle or gravy boat.
  5. In a large serving bowl combine the lettuce, spinach, cheese, cashews, Craisins, apple & pear.
  6. Set Salad on the table along with dressing. Allow each person to pout their own dressing.


You can pour dressing onto the salad yourself (be careful a little goes a long way) however if there is any leftover, the dressing will make the salad soggy by the next day. By not putting the dressing on the salad you can save the leftovers for another day.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 413Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 420mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 10g


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