Have you had one to many salads this summer? You may be experiencing salad fatigue! Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us and although I happen to consider salad one of my favorite foods, even I sometimes need to shake things up! Here are a few tips for switching up your salad recipes, to reignite your love of this healthy staple.
Try a new variety of lettuce:
Romaine is my go-to favorite, but other varieties of lettuce provide different flavors and textures giving your salad an entirely new taste. Try replacing your usual lettuce with the following:
• Arugula: This lettuce has a peppery bite and is actually part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are known for their antioxidant and cancer fighting properties.
• Spinach: This super food is full of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals including folate, which is particularly important for pregnant or nursing women.
• Butter/Bibb: This slightly sweet and buttery lettuce is full of vitamin K, which helps to prevent calcification of arteries and other soft tissue.
• Kale: Hearty and dense kale is loaded with fiber and vitamin C. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Make your own dressing:
It may sound complicated, but it really isn’t and I guarantee once you start making your own, you will never want to go back to the bottled variety. All you need to make your own dressing is to combine healthy fat (oil, nut or seed butter, avocado) with an acid (vinegars, lemon or lime juice). The most basic salad dressing can be made by combining olive oil, lemon juice and a dash of sea salt and pepper. To reinvent your old standby salad dressing try the following:
• Use flavored olive oil: There are plenty of flavored oils out there for you to choose from including; basil, garlic and my new favorite, French roasted walnut oil!
• Add in spices: From raw garlic, to dill and mint, adding in a different spices will give your dressing an entirely new flavor
• Replace the oil: Switch out olive oil for other healthy fats such as avocado and tahini for a creamy dairy-free dressing.
Get Creative with toppings:
Let’s be honest, a salad is only as good as it’s toppings! We all tend to get in the rut of using the same old tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers, so it’s no wonder why we get completely bored with salads. You are only limited by your imagination, so get creative and toss in some exotic ingredients to create an entirely new salad experience. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
• Roasted red peppers
• Sun dried tomatoes
• Fresh herbs; dill, basil, mint
• Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, almonds, walnuts, pecans
• Dried fruit: cranberries, blueberries, gogi berries
• Whole grains: Quinoa, brown rice, couscous
• Legumes: black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils
For more healthy inspiration and recipes check out my website: www.joyfulhealthandwellness.com