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Making Healthy Salads

Making Healthy Salads

Making great salads isn’t hard to do.  If you only use Iceberg lettuce, your salad will be boring, low in nutrients and your family and company will be disappointed!  If you include a few tomatoes, it will still be boring.  We need to add various dark leafy greens to our salad.   Why?  They are full of nutrients like Vitamin C, A, E, and K, minerals like magnesium and potassium, fiber, water, chlorophyll, folic acid, phytonutrients and other great compounds. Also, dark leafy greens have been implicated in cancer prevention, immune stimulation, supporting intestinal flora, and other helpful benefits to our physiology.  Kale, arugula, romaine, purple lettuce (most purple vegetables are especially high in antioxidants), watercress, mint, and radicchio are all nutritionally great greens for salads.  If time is a consideration, then consider pre-washed mixed greens, which still need to be re-washed.

After you buy greens, preferably fresh and organic, do not wash them if you are going to store them.  Make sure they are not stored directly in a plastic bag because they need to breathe. Wrap the greens in a damp paper towel and place in a brown paper bag and place in the refrigerator. When ready to use, wash the greens in a large bowl filled with water and spray some fruit and/or vegetable wash in the bowl.  Fruit and vegetable washes should be organic and made from natural cleaning agents derived from coconut oil, berries, grapefruit seeds and citrus extracts (lemon and orange). Spin dry the leafy greens and set on a paper towel or dry cloth towel.  Never dress a salad until you are ready to serve the salad because the dressing will make the greens soggy.

To make a complete meal of a salad, protein and fat must be added.  Sliced chicken, steak, fish (fresh or canned), nuts and seeds, beans, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, etc. can be added to complete the meal.  Dressings should be made by hand and not store purchased because they are made from low quality ingredients, have added sugar and contain poor quality fats.  There are, of course, exceptions to this statement. I would suggest whisking olive oil and vinegar or plain yogurt or tahini and fresh lemon juice mixed together, etc. Creativity will yield infinite possibilities!

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