One of the true blessings of our modern age is the all-year round availability of fresh vegetables and fruits on the shelves of supermarkets. Using them in salads is a fast and easy way to boost your health, supply your diet with vitamins and antioxidants, and ensure that your waist always stays lean.
Furthermore, did you know that fresh veggie salads eaten with the right fats on a daily basis, are one of our best protectors against coronary heart disease and cancer?
Raw vegetables and fruits are fiber rich and also supply us with vitamins and minerals. Eating salads at every meal, buffet or otherwise, at restaurant or home, sure is a healthy habit.
Esther, Heart Matters
I urge you to take a full advantage of the cornucopia of fresh fruit and veggies by using these 6 tips for making truly healthful salads!
• Organic vegetables are your best choice. However, if you are not able to get them, be sure to wash your non-organic veggies thoroughly to remove pesticides and other impurities. A good idea would be to soak them first with Chlorox bleach (1 teaspoon per gallon) for 10 minutes, and then rinse well.
A recently publish review of scientific research by Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. reveals that on average organic foods contain about one-third higher in antioxidants than comparable conventional produce.
Phillip, Ochre Archive
• The key to a delicious salad is vegetables at the peak of freshness and ripeness. Tomatoes would be much sweeter, if you first keep them for a few days in a dark place at room temperature, transferring to a fridge when they are dark red, ripe, and juicy. Remember: salads, herbs and greens kept too long eventually lose their valuable nutrients.
• Jazz up your salads with raw, homemade dressings made of high quality, extra-virgin olive oil, unrefined flax seed oil, apple cider vinegar, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, avocado, or cultured cream. Avoid using commercial dressings, since they usually contain rancid, cheap, low-quality vegetable oils, preservatives, and coloring additives and offer little nutritious value.
Bleu Cheese Dressing:
1 cup (about 4 ounces) crumbled blue (bleu) cheese
1-1/2 cups low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp fresh or dried parsely
For the Blue Cheese Dressing, beat all ingredients together, except vinegar until fluffy. Blend to form a smooth puree (or leave some chunks of cheese if you like that kind of texture), adding the vinegar slowly as you blend it.
Mansi, Fun and Food Blog Recipes
• Give salads some flash using vegetables of different colours! A salad mixed with green, white, red, and yellow components ensures a full range of health-promoting minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes.
Top it with more color. Think of the rainbow and strive to add different colored veggies (or fruit) to your salad such as carrots, tomatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms or beets
Shauna, Sacramento State Wellness
• **You CAN cook a salad! **Try steaming or blanching your vegetables before mixing them into a salad. Heat actually makes nutrients in certain vegetables, such as asparagus or broccoli, more available to your body. This is also helpful if you have a delicate intestinal tract, since raw vegetables may not be advisable.
Roasted vegetables are mostly served in the cold months, but roast some summer produce and make it into a salad and you have a hearty meal or a great first course for an evening dinner party.
Katie, Good Things Catered
• Finish with a cheese flourish! On top of your salad, grate or crumble the cheese of your choice , such as Parmesan, Roquefort, Brie, or Goat’s Feta and it becomes an instant delight for your eyes and taste buds.
You may wish to arrange salads elegantly on large plates to celebrate the dish in the European fashion. Whichever way you choose to eat them though, salads can be a quick, refreshing and delicious part of your healthy lifestyle!
About the Author
Amanda Brown is our Healthy Lifestyle Expert. Amanda lives in Canada, and her background includes Degrees in Ethnology, History, and Wholistic Therapies. Her true passion, though, lies in the fields of traditional nutrition, history of medicine… learn more about Amanda here.
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