Eating a salad can be an exciting way to increase your intake of vegetables and fruits. (No, really, it can be!) The variety is limitless, and if you choose wisely, eating salads can be satisfying and even help you eat fewer calories and less sodium throughout the day.
Be sure to vary the colors of your fruits and vegetables to help your body get the nutrients it needs. To keep calories in check, consider trying balsamic vinegar or another flavored vinegar seasoned with a bit of garlic powder instead of a bottled salad dressing with higher fat content.
To increase the number of salads you eat, try replacing one dinner and one lunch with a big salad each week and eating salad as a side a couple of times during the week.
- Start with green, leafy vegetables like fresh spinach, kale or lettuce, and then have fun being creative!
- For a side dish, add two or three more vegetables or fruits such as tomatoes, celery and carrots.
- For an entrée, fill your plate or large bowl with vegetables and fruits, like raisins, a small amount of shredded cheese and a 3-ounce equivalent of a lean protein food.
- Wrap green, leafy veggies in paper towels and store them in your refrigerator’s vegetable bin to keep them fresh longer!
If you’re worried that your salad will taste bland, mix tangy fruits such as strawberries, dried cranberries and oranges with your favorite vegetables to add some excitement. And if green, leafy vegetables aren’t your thing, who says you have to include them? Just make a salad full of other fruits and vegetables!
Looking for some inspiration? Have fun with some of these dietitian-approved recipes:
Now, that’s what I call Thinking Outside the Box! Have you tried any of these recipes? Comment below to let us know or to share your own approach to adding excitement to your salad!