Salads can be a healthy, filling, low-calorie option and a great way to get in your daily vegetable requirements. So there is nothing healthier than a salad, right? It may be, but not if you add the wrong ingredients! Learn more about the right ingredients and build your own healthy salad following these 7 steps:
Step 1: Choose your lettuce! Greens are low in calories and a nutritional powerhouse full of vitamins, fiber, minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Greens: romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, swiss chard, sprouts, radicchio, watercress, red or green leaf lettuce, butter letuce, iceberg, arugula, etc.
Step 2: Choose your veggies! When choosing your favorite veggies, make your salad as colorful as possible. There are so many options!
Vegetables: carrots, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, beets, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, cabbage, artichokes, celery, mushrooms, radishes, corn, cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, etc.
Step 3: Choose your protein! Protein can be added to a salad in a number of creative ways. Add one or two protein sources for a filling and satisfying salad.
Protein: beans & legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, edamame, lentils, etc.), tofu, tempeh, etc.
Step 4: Choose your carbs! Try adding a complex carbohydrate to your greens for extra energy and fiber.
- Grains & Pseudo-grains: quinoa, buckwheat, millet, barley, brown rice, soba noodles, amaranth, etc.
- Starchy vegetables: sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, yams, parsnips, corn, etc.
- Fruit: apples, grapes, figs, strawberries, mango, papaya, grapefruit, pineapple, pears, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, pomegranate, orange, kiwi, plum, peach, apricot, nectarine, etc.
Step 5: Choose your healthy fats! Adding healthy fats to your salad helps to absorb the nutrients from the greens and veggies. It adds flavor and helps you feel satisfied.
Healthy Fats: avocados, olives, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, grape seed oil, pumpkin kernels, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, pistachios, etc.
Step 6: Choose your extras! Throw in your favorite extras to create a new flavor combination each time!
Extras: sun-dried tomatoes, capers, dried fruits, etc.
Step 7: Choose your dressing! Stay away from store-bought dressing that are usually loaded with sugar and calories, instead choose one of our homemade salad dressings or add some hummus or tahini to your salad.