Whether you are eating out and hitting up the salad bar or you are trying to create your own salads for a nice dinner party, you want to make sure that you only go with healthy choices. Even though you are eating a salad, it does not mean that it is healthy for you. It is important to learn which options are the best when it comes to salad bars. This way you get the best nutrient punch while enjoy a crisp and delicious salad.
Go with the Darker Greens
To make the most of a salad, start out by going with the darker greens. The dark leafy greens, such as romaine or spinach are going to be packed with great nutrients. Just one cup is going to offer you vitamin K and vitamin A, which are important to a healthy diet. They also provide plenty of fiber, folate, and even vitamin C. You will not get these benefits from the lighter greens that often end up in salads.
Add Veggies in Plenty of Colors
Make your salad as colorful as possible by adding veggies in all different colors. Choose veggies that are bright and attractive. This can include green peppers, red peppers, red tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, beets, and more. These veggies are packed with great nutrients as well, making the most of the salad that you are going to eat.
Instead of going with high fat proteins, choose lean proteins for your salad. One great way to get plenty of protein is to add in kidney beans and chickpeas. A half cup of beans will provide plenty of fiber and a lot of protein too. Both tuna and grilled chicken make great protein additions to a salad. Even lean cuts of grilled steak can make a wonderful protein addition to your salad. Other ways to add protein include adding hard cooked eggs, some cottage cheese, or just a bit of low fat cheeses. Avoid ham or anything that is oil or mayonnaise based.
Have Fun with Some Crunch
It is always nice to have some crunch in a good salad. You can get more crunch by adding in sunflower seeds, walnuts, or even some sesame seeds. These are better options than Asian noodles or croutons. Jazz up a salad with a bit of Parmesan cheese as well, which adds a nice tang to the salad you are creating.
Don’t Forget to Garnish
As you are creating salads, do not forget to garnish your salad as well. One option is to add a sweet garnish by adding in some fresh fruit. Avoid going with fruits that are canned in a thick, sugar filled syrup. Grapes, watermelon, fresh berries, peaches, or even oranges make great garnishes to add a hint of sweet.
Be Careful with Dressings
Last, you do not want to ruin your entire salad by choosing the wrong dressing. Avoid the high fat, creamy dressings unless they are specifically low fat options. The best options are to make your own dressings or to simply add some vinegar and olive oil with a bit of pepper to your salad. Salads are a healthy choice as long as you carefully choose the ingredients. Consider serving as a nice side with lean steaks.
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