We've all heard how important it is to 'eat your greens'. Because it's true. Salad is one of nature’s most honest meals - and one of its most nutritious too. Consider salads to be a bowl of raw material to run the body. There are plenty of ways to bulk up your salads and make them more flavoursome and appealing. Today we're showing you how to make your best salad yet with some non-boring salad ideas.
Salads are Full of Nutrients
A single salad a day is a good source of vitamins C, E, B6, and folic acid. Think about fitting in two and a half cups of vegetables a day to improve your nutritional intake. Other benefits include more energy, a more robust immune system, and heightened heart health.
Salads in particular, are a generous source of water-soluble vitamins. And raw vegetables in salads - like broccoli and cabbage - add fibre. Drained canned organic beans and legumes can aid digestion, plus they're full of antioxidants.
A salad without dressing is virtually free of fat and cholesterol, while a good source of calcium, potassium, and protein.
Non-Boring Salad Ideas to Try
Start with leafy greens
Go for variety to add taste and texture: butter head, Cos, iceberg, lollorosso, collards, spinach or kale. And for the salad that makes the biggest crunch, look for dark green leaves and white spines. The darker the leaf, the more antioxidant beta-carotene. All leafy greens are grown locally all summer.
Pop in some veggies for added nutrients, texture and colour
Add fun and colour with raw, roasted or cooked carrots, beets, turnips, squash, sprouts, broccoli, peppers, and red cabbage.
Think nuts and berries
To give it that extra kick, try sprinkling on some fresh organic fruit, toasted seeds or nuts, or berries.
Herbs work a treat
You can even up the taste with garlic, ginger, mustard, or your favourite herbs.
Include fermented foods for gut health
Nowadays, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi are popular on a plate of salad. And the added benefit - they're full of probiotics so great for gut health.
Dress it up
Don’t sweat about a little fat in your homemade dressing. Use olive oil, a sprinkle Himalayan rock salt and some freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice with a dash of tamari for the ultimate homemade dressing.
Apparently eating fresh vegetables with a little fat (an oil-based salad dressing) helps the body absorbs those nutrients, such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Eating a salad without any fat may actually deprive the body of these phytochemicals.
Make Your Best Salad Yet
Making your salad feel like a wholesome meal and not a chore by jazzing them up with some of these yummy ingredients! Here are some more non-boring salad ideas to give a whirl.
- A handful of cheddar or Parmesan with peeled boiled eggs can add protein and tastes great too.
- Grilled veggies add a smoky, rich taste to greens. Quickly grill slices of aubergine or courgette or even tomatoes for fab flavour.
- Avocado is full of healthy fats and makes a great addition to any salad.
- Try strips of smoked salmon, slices of chorizo sausage, or even blackened tofu slices to up the intensity and add protein.
- Add chick and kidney beans for protein and fibre. They’ll help your stomach feel full.
Buy all your ingredients at your local independent health food store and greengrocer and enjoy the salad days of summer!