Antioxidant-Rich Super Grain Salad with Cherries & Walnuts

Cherry and walnut salad

This summery, antioxidant-rich super grain salad with cherries and walnuts is the perfect dish to take to a potluck or side to your end-of-summer grill fest! The natural sweetness of the cherries, nuttiness from the walnuts and super grains and freshness of the watercress and herbs play off of one another in this delicious and light dish. This salad is also great to make ahead to have on hand for the week!

Super Grain Salad with Cherries and Walnuts | Get the recipe for this delicious and simple summery salad made with gluten free whole grains, sweet cherries, walnuts and fresh greens!

Summer is coming to an end which is bittersweet for me, because although I love the flavors of summertime, I hate the heat that it brings, especially here in Florida! If I’m being honest, I’m kind of looking forward to fall and all things pumpkin-flavored. Who’s with me?

With summer coming to a close, that means all of its delicious flavors are, too. But I can’t let it go yet, before sharing this insanely delicious and light super grain salad with cherries and walnuts!

When I think of cherries, I think of my mom. She loves cherries and I can just picture her with her two bowls – one for the cherries and one for the pits. Growing up, I would say it might’ve been her favorite snack.

sweet cherries

The Perfect End-of-Summer Salad

I was never a huge fan of cherries because I could never get beyond the frustrating pit situation. It’s the same dilemma I have when eating pistachios – they are so cumbersome, but man, are they good!

But this year, something changed. I couldn’t get enough of the sweet, juicy flavor of the cherries. So much so that I would eat them by the bowl! I guess as I’ve become more mindful of not only what I’m eating, but the way I’m eating it, I don’t mind the slower pace that comes with having to remove that pesky little pit.

And so, I ate cherries as a snack, put them on my smoothie bowls, and yes, even mixed them in my salads.

Super Grain Salad with Cherries and Walnuts | Get the recipe for this delicious and simple summery salad made with gluten free whole grains, sweet cherries, walnuts and fresh greens!

Speaking of salads, I’m a huge fan of grains in my salad. Since I’ve been eating more plant-based meals, it’s a great way to get some extra protein and adds a lovely nutty flavor to the plate.

You better believe I combined these two beloved ingredients into one superfood salad, and it is delicious! It’s the perfect light meal for a hot summer day or to have as a side along with your grill feast.

Did you know that cherries are in fact, a “super” fruit?

They contain an incredible high amount of antioxidants which boosts their anti-inflammatory powers, and they are also surprisingly high in potassium (which reduces muscle cramping and improves muscle strength).

Another winning health benefit? Cherries contain melatonin which helps regulate sleep cycles!

Super Grain Salad with Cherries and Walnuts | Get the recipe for this delicious and simple summery salad made with gluten free whole grains, sweet cherries, walnuts and fresh greens!

Originally, I was going to use farro for this recipe, but I couldn’t find any at the store, so I went with the Earthly Choice Super Grain Blend and am so glad I did! The combination of quinoa, millet and buckwheat provides a variety of texture that takes this salad to the next level.

And the greens! Can’t forget about the greens when talking salads. In this recipe, I used watercress, but you can use any kind of green leaf you like. Spinach or kale would be delicious, too! I also added mint and basil to make this salad even more fresh and nutritious, but again, you could use any kind of herb you like.

Super Grain Salad with Cherries and Walnuts | Get the recipe for this delicious and simple summery salad made with gluten free whole grains, sweet cherries, walnuts and fresh greens!

Now, run to the store and get yourself a bag of sweet cherries before they are gone for the season and make this super grain salad with cherries and walnuts for a delicious and simple meal! If your store doesn’t have fresh cherries, you could always swap for chopped apples. YUM!

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Cherry and walnut salad

Super Grain Salad with Cherries and Walnuts

  • Author: FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: N/A
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This summery, antioxidant-rich super grain salad with cherries and walnuts is the perfect dish to take to a potluck or side to your end-of-summer grill fest! The natural sweetness of the cherries, nuttiness from the walnuts and super grains and freshness of the watercress and herbs play off of one another in this delicious and light dish. This salad is also great to make ahead to have on hand for the week!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup cooked grains
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 2 cups sweet cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the grains according to the package. Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and cool in the refrigerator until at least room temperature.
  2. To assemble the salad, add the grains into a large salad bowl, then top with the watercress, cherries, walnuts, mint and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss to combine. That’s it! Enjoy.

Notes

  • Any kind of whole grain will work in this salad, including: wheat berries, farro, quinoa or brown rice
  • If you can’t find watercress, you can use arugula or baby spinach 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 327
  • Sugar: 21g
  • Sodium: 279mg
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 46g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: cherry, cherry and walnut salad, gluten-free, grain salad, quinoa, salad, super grains, vegan

The recipe is part of the Meatless Monday link up hosted by The Fit Foodie Mama and Running on Happy, as well as Meatless Monday hosted by Confessions of a Mother RunnerTina Muir and A Whisk and Two Wands.

Are you a fan of cherries or does the pit get in your way? What are you looking forward to most with fall right around the corner? Share with me in the comment section below!

-Carly Paige

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38 Responses

  1. This sounds (and looks) delicious! I’ve never been keen on cherries, but I think I would give this salad a go (and I guess I could swap out the cherries for something else if I didn’t like them).

  2. I don’t like cherries! I could do dried cherries maybe. I dunno, I just don’t like them! I am most looking forward to pumpkin everything!!

  3. I’m a huge fan of cherries and walnuts. And salad. But cherries and walnuts are PACKED with nutritional value. They’re so delicious, too.

  4. I’ve been loving salads lately! I never knew cherries were considered super fruits! I always use cranberries and grapes to give it a little sweetness, but I’ll definitely be trying out cherries next time.

Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

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