With people wanting to eat light and right, salads are a great meal choice for the spring and summer — especially when you take advantage of all the great local produce that’s in season. Salad sabotage can derail your quest to stay healthy if you aren’t careful though. Here are five tips and some recipes to help you make healthy salads that are packed with nutrients, not calories:
Click here to see the Tips for Creating Healthy Salads: 8 Recipes (Slideshow)
It’s not just for leafy greens: Go beyond the usual spinach, lettuce, or kale salad and make use of other produce in your fridge. In the spring, I like to shave some asparagus on a salad or chop up some leftover grilled veggies from dinner the night before. Try out different fruit and vegetable combinations for a new healthy take on salad that goes beyond ho-hum greens.
Make your salad colorful: Don’t be afraid to be bold and add some color to your plate with a combination of fruits and veggies for texture and flavor. A colorful plate helps you get a variety of nutrients your body needs.
Pep it up with Protein: Crazy about quinoa? Mix it into your salad for a tasty blend. Seeds, whether sunflower, sesame or chia, are a delicious and crunchy addition, too. Worried about staying satiated? Beans are packed with fiber and keep you feeling full — if you use canned beans, rinse them off and opt for one with no added sodium. I like to visit the bulk section for tons of cool heirloom varieties.
DIY Dressing: Skip the pre-made dressings that contain oils and are often packed with calories (not nutrients) and whip up some homemade dressings with healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and avocados.
Look beyond Iceberg: A variety of nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients — are essential for good health, which is why dark leafy greens are the perfect building block for seasonal salads. Experiment with recipes for collard greens, chard, and other leafy greens you see coming in from local growers. Not sure how to cook them? Just ask someone in the produce department or a farmer selling at your local market — they have lots of great tips.
Lemony Asparagus Salad Recipe
While delicious cooked, raw asparagus feels extra fresh in this tart salad. The asparagus is shaved into thin ribbons. Serve immediately or let the salad marinate several hours to blend flavors.
Click here to see the Lemony Asparagus Salad Recipe
Cherry-Arugula Salad with Almonds and Tarragon Recipe
Cherries and almonds are a classic pair and make a delicious salad combination with tart arugula and fragrant tarragon.
Click here to see the Cherry-Arugula Salad with Almonds and Tarragon Recipe
Click here to see more Recipes for Healthy Salads
Make the most out of spring and summer produce. Try some of these tips and check out these recipes to make healthy and satisfying salads part of your diet.