How to Make a Healthier Salad: 7 Tips.

salad3Most Americans don’t eat enough vegetables – but a bountiful, delicious bowl of salad is a great way to get your fix!

Beyond unhealthy toppings and artery-clogging dressings, many salads represent a lost opportunity to load up on essential nutrients. So use today’s tips to get the most out of your salad!

  1. Select dark greens. Did you know that dark, leafy greens are healthier than lighter ones? They’re packed with more nutrients and antioxidants. Kale, spinach, watercress, collard greens, arugula and romaine are all wise choices.
  2. Make your own healthier dressing. Many packaged dressings are loaded in unhealthy fats and sodium – especially if they’re creamy. Experiment with your own, heart-healthy dressings. I like to mix a simple dressing of olive oil, vinegar and seasoning. As an alternative, you can top your salad with lemon juice, avocado, salsa or even a Greek yogurt-based dressing.
  3. Top it with microgreens. I’m a huge fan of microgreens. They’re fresh, packed with flavor and several times richer in nutrients than their full grown counterparts. They also make for a beautiful salad topping!
  4. Make your own croutons. The great thing about making your own croutons is that you know exactly what goes into them. And they taste a million times better than the boxed alternatives. It takes only a few seconds to chop up a some stale whole wheat bread, and then toss it all with some olive oil, parsley, garlic and other seasonings. Bake the croutons at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes and you’re good to go.
  5. Add some vegetables. Don’t stop with tomatoes. Add in a rainbow of other vegetables like peppers, beets, carrots, red cabbage, raw broccoli, raw green beans, onions, mushrooms and so on. Get creative. Even if you’re not a fan of vegetables, you may find them much more stomach-able in a salad.
  6. Mix in some beans. Though beans get a bad rap, they’re a healthy and delicious salad addition. Full of fiber, antioxidants and protein, some of my favorites include soybeans, black beans and pinto beans.
  7. Toss in some lean meat. If your salad is the main course, adding some grilled chicken or fish turns your salad into a meal. Avoid meats that are battered or fried. And remember, a serving of meat is about the same size as a deck of cards – so don’t go overboard!

As something of a salad king, I’ve learned that you really can’t go wrong. Don’t be afraid to experiment and get a little wild. It’s really, really hard to ruin a salad. Just don’t add ketchup.

If you have some healthy salad tips, I’d love to hear them! Share them in the comments below.

 

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Comments

  1. But please take the skins off your avocado before you eat them, they are no fun to eat LOL.

  2. Instead of using croutons, you can also substitute for walnut, almonds, or any other kind of nut. Not only do they give you a satisfying crunch, but they provide healthy fats that croutons do not.

  3. What about an egg or two?
    Always uncertain about those.

    Otherwise great tipps and the fact that I already can check 4/7 points (plus nuts instead of croutons) makes me happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I find that if I add avocado to my salad that I don’t need dressing. The avocado is enough to flavor the salad for me.

  5. I love to have cheese in my salad, especially a flavored goat cheese. How do these factor in? Any particularly good cheese options?

  6. christopher says:

    try onion or leek.they add to flavour.

  7. I put raisins on my salads sometimes. The flavor is great. And I never use dressings, just some olive oil. Also, chilled white vine is the best drink to go with salads.

  8. r dennis leveridge says:

    I wanted a breakfasty meal one morning but had a salad made the day before which had to be eaten. Since all food gets mixed up in the stomach, I thought why not put the salad in the frying pan and crack a couple of eggs on it. Stirred it all together and…. Wow! Absolutely delish.

  9. avocado to make dressing is an excellent idea thanks for the tip

  10. Dressings can usually be stretched with a bit of water, the taste is still there, but the calories are reduced.

  11. When I make salads I usually throw in a variety of vegetables into it so that it’s colourful and looks more appealing to eat. As for the salad dressing, I just mix together some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some honey and pour it on top.

  12. Not sure about honey and cheese tips…
    If you don’t mind spicy:
    dried chili flakes, crushed mustard seed give flavor but are also high in nutrients
    otherwise:
    a fruit like an apple combined with some nuts on top of a colorful veggie salad wont require dressing
    and last but not least:
    slightly cook your veggie in the oven, flavor is enhanced
    add a bit of apple vinegar if you want