Easy Summer Salads for Seniors


Ah, summer! It’s time for fresh fruit and herbs, delicious food on the grill, and so much more. But it’s also time for Mother Nature to bring the high temperatures, which makes anyone want to avoid the additional heat of the kitchen. Delicious salads are a great way to get the nutrition seniors need while avoiding firing up the stove (well, most of the time). They can also be great make-ahead meals for seniors – many of these salads can last for a while in the fridge, and might even taste better the next day.

These delicious salads are full of good nutrition that seniors need. When preparing them, use the freshest ingredients possible.  The kitchen is a place where many falls and other accidents occur, so be sure you’re safe with a medical alert device on your wrist or around your neck. Help is just a button push away. In fact, there are even medical alert systems with fall detection. If you slip and fall in the kitchen, the fall sensors in the device can recognize it and automatically send an alert for help. With fall detection, you don’t even have to press the button (though if you have the ability to do so, you should).

Read through these easy summer salad recipes for elderly adults and choose one to enjoy tonight!

The Best Salads for Summer

These salads are perfect for summer, not just because they’re easy to prepare, but because they are light, refreshing, come packed with nutrients, have robust flavors that tickle the taste buds, and more than a little hydration (we’re looking at you, watermelon). If you’re feeding a crowd, these recipes can easily be doubled or tripled. And since most of these keep well in the refrigerator for a few days, they can also be used as meal prep for seniors.  

Watermelon Strawberry Salad

Strawberries are a powerhouse of fiber, antioxidants, and a ton of nutrients. According to WebMD, strawberries can provide more vitamin C than an orange! They can lower your blood pressure, increase your good cholesterol, and help guard against cancer.

Watermelon has plenty of nutrients too, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C[1]. It also helps keep you hydrated, which is vitally important during these hot summer days.

·         3 cups cubed watermelon

·         2 cups sliced strawberries

·         ½ cup crumbled Feta cheese

·         ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

·         3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped into small bits

·         Sprinkle of sea salt

Simply combine all the ingredients, toss in a bowl to coat the fruit with the olive oil, and serve immediately.

Spicy Corn Salad

Corn has a lot of fiber, and that can help you stay full between meals – thus, you might eat less, and that’s a boon if you’re trying to lose weight. But corn has another powerful trait, and that is the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are excellent for eye health. These nutrients can help prevent the damage that leads to cataracts[2].

·         3 cups cooked corn kernels

·         4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon

·         1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro (if desired)

·         ½ cup mayonnaise

·         1 tsp. chili powder

·         1 tsp. garlic powder

·         Juice of two limes

·         Sprinkle of sea salt

·         2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (remove the seeds if you want less heat)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until the mixture is creamy. Serve right away or chill until you’re ready to dig in.

(Fun fact: For some, cilantro tastes heavenly. For others, it tastes like dish soap! For those individuals, a quirk in their olfactory-receptor genes makes them more sensitive to the aldehydes in cilantro leaves – and that leads to that awful soapy taste[3]. When making this salad, consider leaving the cilantro out if you’re feeding a crowd, as you never know who might hate the taste.)

Heirloom Caprese Salad

Healthline reports that mozzarella is one of the healthiest cheeses you could opt to eat. It’s lower in sodium and calories than other cheeses, offers up a great deal of calcium, and is a great source of probiotics for better gut health. And the lycopene in the tomatoes helps protect the skin from UV rays as well as relieves oxidative stress of those with diabetes.

This is a nice twist on the classic caprese salad by using heirloom tomatoes for their unique colors and robust, varied flavors.

·         5 ripe tomatoes, sliced into rounds

·         1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds

·         1 bunch of basil leaves (remove and discard stems)

·         Balsamic vinegar

·         Extra-virgin olive oil

·         Sprinkle of sea salt

On a large plate, layer the tomato slices, mozzarella slices, and basil leaves. Create an alternating, attractive pattern. In a small bowl, blend the balsamic vinegar and olive oil to taste. Drizzle the mixture over the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Sprinkle on the sea salt and serve.

Summer Potato Salad

Nothing says “summer” like the classic potato salad. Create this as a side for a weekend barbecue or enjoy it all on its own as a light and healthy lunch. The potatoes are chock-full of antioxidants and fiber[4]. Get lots of protein, vitamin D, zinc, calcium, and all the B vitamins from the eggs[5].

·         About 6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into one-inch pieces

·         5 large eggs, boiled and chopped

·         ½ cup small red onion, chopped fine

·         2 stalks celery, chopped fine

·         ½ cup mayonnaise (more if needed)

·         ¼ cup sour cream

·         3 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

·         ¼ cup pickles, chopped fine

·         1-2 tbsps. pickle juice

·         Pinch of cayenne pepper

·         Pinch of black pepper

·         Pinch of salt

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Drop in salt and bring the potatoes to a boil, then simmer them for another 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender. Transfer the potatoes to a colander over a bowl to let them drain and cool.

Return the water to a boil. Gently and carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes. As they are cooking, prepare an ice bath by combining a few cups of ice with an equal amount of cold water. When the eggs are hard boiled, carefully remove them from the water and slip them into the ice bath to cool them quickly. Peel the eggs as soon as they are cool enough to handle, then chop them up.

While the potatoes and eggs are cooling, make the rest of the salad. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, cayenne, and pickle juice. Add in the chopped pickles, onion and celery. Mix well to combine. Gently incorporate the eggs and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Greek Salad

The kalamata olives in this Greek salad offer a strong punch of antioxidants, specifically those that target the heart. They are also loaded with iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and vitamins A and E[6]. A Greek salad is a strong component of the Mediterranean Diet. This diet is known for assisting with healthy aging and increasing the lifespan[7].

·         1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters

·         1 cucumber, sliced into rounds or half-moons

·         1 cup kalamata olives, cut into halves

·         ½ cup red onion, sliced thin

·         ¼ - ½ cup pepperoncini peppers, stems removed

·         ¾ cup Feta cheese, crumbled

·         2 tbsps. red wine vinegar

·         ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

·         Juice of ½ lemon

·         1 tsp. dried oregano

·         Salt and pepper

Mix the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion, and peppers in a large boil. Gently blend in the Feta cheese. Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Immediately drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to blend.

Balsamic Tomato Salad

Besides a wonderfully bold flavor, balsamic vinegar brings a lot of other things to the table, such as better skin health, reduced blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, better digestion, lower blood pressure, better circulation, and more[8].

·         ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

·         2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

·         2 tsp. honey (more to taste)

·         1 clove garlic, grated

·         ½ inch ginger, grated

·         ½ tsp. salt

·         Dash of freshly ground pepper

·         Sourdough croutons

·         1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

·         Large handful of mixed salad greens

·         ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

·         ½ cup blue cheese crumbles

Mix the balsamic dressing in a mason jar. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper, then put the lid on the jar and shake it vigorously to combine all ingredients.

In a large bowl, add the tomatoes, salad greens, onion, and croutons (adjust the croutons to your personal preference). Gently add the blue cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

Fruit Salad

The health benefits of fruit cannot be understated. This salad combines many of them, as well as the powerhouse of honey, which brings a big boost for immunity and brain health, plenty of antioxidants, and protective effects for almost every system of the body[9]. Go with raw honey from a local farm for the best possible benefits.

·         ¼ cup honey

·         ¼ cup orange juice

·         Fine zest of one lemon

·         1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut into bite-size bits

·         6 ounces blueberries

·         6 ounces raspberries

·         3 kiwis, peeled and sliced into rounds

·         2 oranges, peeled, with wedges cut into halves

·         2 apples, peeled, chopped into small bits

·         1 mango, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces

·         2 cups grapes (red or green)

Combine all the fruit in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the orange juice, honey, and lemon zest. Pour the dressing over the fruit, stir gently to combine, and chill immediately until ready to serve. Toss the fruit once more right before serving to distribute the dressing more evenly.

Grilled Salad

Romaine lettuce might seem like it’s only a good base for the other delicious ingredients, but it brings something good on its own. Romaine is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, as well as beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. It’s also full of minerals while being low in sodium[10].

·         ¾ cup mayonnaise

·         1 clove garlic, minced fine

·         ½ tsp. honey

·         ½ tsp. whole grain mustard

·         1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

·         Juice of ½ lemon

·         Salt and pepper

·         1 large head of romaine lettuce, cut into quarters

·         2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 cup grape tomatoes, cut into halves

·         4 slices bacon (or more), cooked crisp and crumbled into small pieces

·         ½ cup crumbled blue cheese

Make the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, garlic, honey, mustard, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set it aside while you prepare the salad.

Brush the romaine wedges with the olive oil. On a grill pan set over medium-high and indirect heat, grill the wedges until they are slightly wilted and charred, which should take about three minutes on each side. Transfer the romaine to plates, drizzle with dressing, and top with the bacon, tomatoes, and crumbled blue cheese. Serve immediately.

Watermelon Feta Salad

In addition to the hydrating watermelon, this salad relies on Feta cheese for great flavor. Feta is known for including protein and calcium, as well as the good probiotics that promote better gut health. BBC Good Food points out that Feta even contains a fatty acid that appears to change the body’s composition by reducing body fat and increasing lean mass.

·         ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

·         2 tbsps. red wine vinegar

·         ½ tsp. salt

·         4 cups seedless watermelon, cut into cubes

·         1 cup cucumber, cut into small pieces

·         1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

·         ½ red onion, cut into thin slices

·         ¼ cup mint leaves, coarsely chopped

·         Sprinkle of sea salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Add in the watermelon, cucumber, Feta, red onion, and mint leaves. Gently blend from the bottom until the dressing is coating the other ingredients. Garnish with more mint and sprinkle on the sea salt right before serving.

Staying Healthy During the Summer

These salads are easy recipes for seniors that boost nutritional health during the summer. They don’t take much time or effort to prepare, they each provide a delightful diversion from the usual fare, and some of them are even quite impressive for guests.

Keep your good health this summer by incorporating these salads, staying hydrated (especially in the awful heat waves), getting an appropriate amount of exercise, and enjoying delightful times with family and friends. No matter what you’re doing, wear a medical alert pendant to give you the peace of mind that can help you fully enjoy the summer months.

As always, Alert1 wishes you a safe, happy, healthy summer!