“I can’t remember the last time I had a salad,” you say to yourself as you indulge in another chocolate-covered blueberry, which, by the way, does not count in terms of daily fruit and veg intake. It’s easy to fall into a slump, dietarily speaking, but now that spring has sprung, it’s time to reconsider salad. Salad is the ultimate chameleon, offering a rainbow of delicious flavors, but sometimes, it needs an added spark. Consider adding in these in-season ingredients that are both highly nutritional and delicious.
Before we get started, it’s important to address one of the biggest complaints about salad. Typically, it’s that it doesn’t keep you full for long. The secret is to add a protein including any of the following:
- Cottage cheese
- Chicken breast
- Lean beef
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brussel sprouts
These options can be attuned to whatever dietary restrictions you have. If you find that even after adding some more protein to your salad, you still feel hungry, add a bed of whole-grain rice or root veggies to the bottom of your bowl. The rice/veg will soak up all the salad dressing and the gorgeous flavors of your in-season produce, making your salad even more enriched and satisfying. When it comes to a good salad, it’s helpful to think less about caloric intake and more about nourishment. Eating the rainbow is such a great way to get the nutrients your body needs to get you through the day.
Now onto the salad that’ll have you seeing stars…
There are two major reasons to eat in-season produce. The first is that they’ll taste better and are far more affordable too. The second is sustainability. Picking, packaging, and transporting produce to far-off lands leaves a huge carbon footprint. When the options are endless at home, it’s time for a stellar in-season salad.
Fruits and Vegetables: In Season This April!
- Rhubarb: jam-packed with antioxidants and roasted to perfection, this barb of goodness is as delicious in a salad as it is in a pie.
- Beets: add some color to your palette with a beautiful purple beet. They pack a punch because they’re high in fiber and folates too. You can even use its juice in your vinaigrette.
- Parsnips: supports immune function and high in fiber. Delicious sauteed or roasted, these give a salad a density and richness other veggies don’t have.
- Rutabaga: another stellar root veggie, and in addition to adding tons of fiber to your salad, it can also help you feel fuller, longer.
- Sprouts: mixing them with lettuce makes an amazing texture and a delicious bed for traditional salad, and they’re packed with folate, magnesium, phosphorus too!
Salad is all about experimentation, and now that Spring is here, there are so many more types of fresh produce available. Challenge yourself to add one thing to the salad you’ve never had before! If you’re especially inspired by this week’s article and are thinking you’d like a bigger garden to kick your sustainability efforts up a notch, Collingwood has the gardens and homes you’re looking for. If you’d really like to get the ball rolling, check out our article on tips to spruce up your current home.