Salads are nutrient-intensive foods and are a great way to boost your mood and productivity. They quickly become addictive due to their freshness and taste.
However, the key to preparing a truly wholesome salad bowl is to ensure the right ingredients form part of the dish. Salads are often criticised for their laborious preparation and bland taste. But an avid salad eater would understand how to have ingredients handy and add flavour to the bowl that makes it interesting.
Eating guilt-free is not enough if you become hungry within a few hours again - so it is also crucial to understand how to make a filling and wholesome bowl of salad that keeps you going until the next meal. Leafy greens and veggies have 90% water content and can alone not do the job. A satiable salad bowl will contain bulky protein and healthy fats in addition to flavours and dressings.
A proper, effective salad should be a well-balanced combination of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Skipping the essential fats and proteins and just eating the leaves and veggies could in fact slow down your metabolism and make you gain weight in the long run. Before you indulge into preparing the perfect salad bowl, be aware to exercise portion control. Eating large quantities can cause bloating and may defeat the purpose of healthy eating entirely. Hence, it is important to ensure that the intake is in moderation and correct quantities.
Here are 5 ingredients to help you prepare a wholesome, nutritious and appetising salad :
- Fresh Veggies, Fruits and Leafy Greens
Leafy greens and vegetables are rich in fibre, water content, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They aid your digestion, improve eyesight and may protect against mental decline.
The balanced calorific values in salads are good for healthy weight loss. A forkful of fresh green leaves along with some juicy chunks of fresh veggies and/or fruits add essential nutrients, taste and colour to your salad. Use greens like Lettuce, Arugula, Kale, and Butterhead. You may pile up colour through different veggies like Fruity Pepper, Cherry Tomato, Caramelised Onion, Cucumber and Carrot. Likewise, while preparing a fruit salad, you can explore Rose Apple, Gold and Green Kiwi, Berries (Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Cranberry), Avocado or Dragon Fruit.
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- Chewy Proteins
You may add plant-based proteins to your salad like boiled chickpeas or sprouts. Microgreens are also a great source of proteins in addition to adding taste and flavour. While preparing a meat based salad, choose lighter cuts that grilled or boiled and avoid fried meat chunks. To provide your body with the essential carbs that it needs, you may include millets or cooked grains like Quinoa, Sweet Corn or Foxtail Millets.
- Creamy Cheeses
While cheese plays an important role in providing healthy fats, it should be carefully selected and used in correct quantities. Over-adding or wrong variety of cheese can spoil the taste and not blend with the overall dish. Commonly used types of cheese that you may consider are Feta, Goat or Sheep Cheese, Blue Cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Cheddar Cheese and Swiss cheese.
- Crunchy Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of fibre and monosaturated fatty acids. They add crunch and a bit of texture to the salad. You can explore Cashews, Almonds, Pistachios, Walnuts, Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Peanuts.
- Dressings and Seasoning
Make your own dressing, avoid those with additives and preservatives. Choose simple vinaigrette-based dressings and avoid thick, creamy ones. Always serve and ask for dressing on the side, so you can watch the amount of dressing you put in. This will prevent the leaves from getting soggy and you will be able to add dressings to your taste. You can also add essential oils to your salad like Olive Oil, Mustard Oil or Groundnut Oil, however, ensure that you add them in moderation as excessive oils can turn the taste bitter. Lastly, add your seasonings to your liking and taste - Basil, Celantro, Thyme, Oregano, Chives, Dill, Lemon Balm, Parsley, Mint, Tarragon. Of course, our favourite, salt, pepper and lemon. And if you’re a fan of plating, top it up with some edible flowers.
Explore our range of Exotic Fruits & Veggies and Healthy Greens and get started with your power-packed salad bowl today!