Salads are a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle. They’re versatile and can vary in taste, depending on their ingredients. But sticking with the same dressing or toppings can become boring, so why not spruce it up?
Adding to or changing up the flavor of your salad doesn’t have to and shouldn’t negate its nutritional values. Having an open mind and crafting smartly will allow you to try out new recipes and maintain or boost the level of nutrition you’re consuming.
Start with the greens
Chances are, you’ve grown tired of the greens you’re using for the salad base, so change it up for some additional nutrients. If you’ve been consuming iceberg lettuce, move on to its healthier cousin, romaine! For even more healthy eating, give spinach a chance. For a kick of flavor, try arugula or kale. You’ve got a huge variety of greens to choose from, so you’ll never run out of flavor combinations to explore!
Move on to ingredients
There’s no limit to the ingredients you can bring into your salad. From vegetables to fruits, beans, meats and even seafood, it’s not finding the right recipe, it’s about deciding which one to try out first! Hoping to expand the veggie variety? Cut up some bell peppers or slip in a few green beans. If you’re looking to add zest, place a few mandarin orange or clementine slices on top. Want extra crunch? Drop in a handful of almond slices or candied walnuts for texture and flavor.
Balance out the crunchiness of the greens with some cooked beans. Kidney beans are a good source of vitamin B6, iron and magnesium. Want the salad to hold you over for a little longer? Throw in a bit of protein with various meats. Remember to keep portion control in mind as you’re putting together your salad. They don’t keep well, so make sure you’re only making as much as you can consume in one sitting. Furthermore, you don’t want to negate the healthiness of the meal with too many unhealthy ingredients, so conduct research on which add-ons will pack the most nutrients.
Dress it up
Salad dressings come in many flavors, so whether you prefer the creaminess of ranch, the tang of vinaigrette or the tartness of bleu cheese, you won’t be disappointed. However, you do want to look at the nutrition label before combining everything with your salad shaker. The proper balance of greens, toppings and dressing will keep your salads interesting and healthy.