Salads do not have to be boring, tasteless and leave you still hungry. They don't have to be rabbit food and they don't have to be just for summer!

Mix your salads up and make them more interesting with these top tips from Ashley Lowe, Health Project Co-ordinator for Newcastle United Foundation

Try different leaves

Next time you’re in your local supermarket or veg shop check out what’s on offer.  Different leaves will add a different textures and tastes to your salads, for example iceberg lettuce is crunchy, spinach can be enjoyed warm or cold, rocket adds a peppery taste – get experimenting today.

Add a source of protein

We need to eat protein everyday as our body can’t make enough by itself, it will also keep you full and will give your salad more substance. Some of my favourite proteins for salad include – chicken, tuna, feta cheese, salmon, mozzarella, mixed beans and eggs.

Mix it up with different healthy carbs

Carbs provide your body with energy to keep your going throughout the day. Add a handful or two of a healthy option to stop you flagging later on in the day and reaching for sweet stuff. Staples in my diet include quinoa, rice, sweet potato, new potatoes, wholemeal pasta, and wholegrain noodles. Don't go overboard with these though, they should just help bulk the salad out, not be the main component.

Add a healthy fat

Adding a healthy source of fat to your salads will help you to better absorb the vitamins within it, it will also provide a boost for your heart and brain health. Try slices of avocado, a handful of olives or a sprinkling of nuts or seeds.

Maybe try some fruit?

Apple slices, grapes, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, nectarine slices will all add a sweet taste and extra texture plus loads of vitamins.

Use up your spare vegetables

A lot of us will have extra veg lingering in the cupboard or fridge so this is an easy way to use those up! Chopped up peppers, mushrooms, onions, grated carrot,

spiralized courgette, asparagus, kale or roasted vegetables are just some options that will add taste, fibre & antioxidants proven to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Add an extra flavour boost with herbs & spices or a dressing

The ones used most in my house are mixed herbs, cracked black pepper, paprika, chilli flakes, balsamic vinegar, low fat dressings, pesto, lemon & lime juice (obviously not all together!)

With all of your ingredients you can bulk cook and keep them in the fridge for use throughout the week which will save you massively on time. 

You can get recipes and ideas for upping your fruit and veg intake and making your salads more exciting from Ashley at:

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