According to the National Institute of Health, spinach is among the top six vegetables for iron content. It’s also one of the most important minerals and one that 9-16% of women lack in their diet, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Iron is a mineral found in every cell of the body. Iron is considered an essential mineral because it is needed to make part of blood cells.

The human body needs iron to make the oxygen-carrying proteins hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells and myoglobin is found in muscles.

Iron also makes up part of many proteins in the body. (NIH)

The trouble is, your body can only absorb about half of the iron. This is because the iron is bound tightly to oxalic acid which makes it much harder for our bodies to absorb the iron.

But, did you know that a serving of vitamin C with the spinach helps your body take in more of the iron. Lucky for you, Florida strawberries are a wonderful source of vitamin C and a delicious addition to a spinach salad.

This recipe combines the the vitamin C of Florida strawberries with the iron in fresh spinach and the protein in a lean chicken breasts with a delicious and bright citrus dressing. What more could you ask for?

Florida Strawberries, Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Citrus Dressing

Citrus Dressing:

  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Salad:

  • 1 pint of fresh Florida strawberries
  • 1 (6 oz.) package of bagged baby spinach
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts

For citrus dressing, simply combine all ingredients in a blender and set aside.

Bring strawberries to room temperature. Wash, drain and remove caps. Slice strawberries and toss with spinach in a large bowl.

Grill chicken breasts until cooked through on both sides. Let chicken rest for ten minutes before adding to spinach and strawberries.

Pulse citrus dressing in blender to ensure the dressing is well mixed. Toss chicken with strawberries and spinach while drizzling with citrus dressing.

Makes four servings