A great salad can elevate a meal from underwhelming to positively inspiring, and whether it’s a side dish or the main event, there’s no reason the next one you make can’t be exciting, colorful and delicious.
Here are five ingredients that will make dull salads a distant memory:
Dark leafy greens: Switching from iceberg lettuce to dark leafy greens is the easiest way to watch the nutritional value of your salad go up, effortlessly.
Spinach, arugula, romaine, and mesclun all make fantastic bases for salads and have high levels of folate and vitamin A, C and K. They are also high in calcium, magnesium and other minerals.
Mix some different greens together for a unique and tasty dish…the more variety, the better, in my opinion!
Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds have been getting attention lately as an under-appreciated superfood. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and healthy
fats. They can even help you sleep due to their high levels of tryptophan and L-tryptophan. (1)
A small handful of pumpkin seeds is all you need to add some flavor and crunch to your salad. You can buy them plain, lightly salted or even spiced.
Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, any kind will do! Berries are known to have very high levels of antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation in your body, among other things! Their natural sugar content will also keep the salad from tasting bitter or bland.
Note: For more anti-inflammatory goodness, check out the Inflammation Fighter Box.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Mixing up a homemade olive oil and vinegar dressing is a great way to keep preservatives and added sugars out of your meal. But instead of just sticking to a classic balsamic vinaigrette, why not add a splash of apple cider vinegar next time?
People have used apple cider vinegar for centuries as an anti-bacterial remedy. Modern studies show that it can also help balance your gut, reduce your body-fat percentage, and combatmdiabetes by lowering blood sugar and insulin levels. (2)
I like to pair ACV with honey or maple syrup to make a sweet and tangy salad dressing.
Avocado: I'm not making any promises, but adding avocados to your salad arsenal might just be one of the best culinary decisions you ever make. Seriously, if you've never tried it, you’ve got to!
Not only do avocados taste amazing and add a gorgeous creamy texture to the mix, but they
are also ridiculously healthy for you. Avocados are packed with vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats. According to Medical News Today, they are particularly “rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid and may help protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer.” (3)
These are some of my favorite ingredients, but the best thing about salads is that you can put whatever you want in them, and change things up on a regular basis! Scope out your local farmer's market, health food store or supermarket, grab the yummiest looking fruits and veggies you can find, and start experimenting!