|Color your world with super salads|
Clean it up
Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove dirt and bacteria. To clean your produce:
- Keep separate cutting boards, one for produce and the other for raw meats. Opt for plastic boards instead of wooden ones, which can harbor bacteria.
- Remove outer leaves on leafy vegetables, which are usually damaged or wilted and can contain bacteria or mold.
- Wash produce with running water just before eating.
- Use a vegetable brush to scrub cucumbers, carrots, potatoes and other foods with edible peels.
- Store clean produce in containers or plastic storage bags in the fridge.
- Clean your produce drawer and sanitize it often.
Does the word “salad” conjure up images of a pitiful plate of boring, pale iceberg lettuce?
Turn “blah” into brilliant by thinking of your salad as a painting, adding intense colors and different textures for more exciting appeal. Some suggestions for your salad palette:
Start with great greens
As a general rule, the deeper the green, the more nutrient-rich the leaves. Try:
- red leaf
Brightly colored fruits, such as tomatoes and watermelon, give you a boost of the antioxidant lycopene—linked to a lower risk for certain types of cancer and heart disease. Vegetables serve up nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, antioxidant-rich vitamins A and C and immune-boosting B vitamins. Mix in:
- shredded red cabbage
- snow peas
- sliced strawberries, apples or kiwi
- raspberries or blueberries
- pink grapefruit or Mandarin orange sections
Try terrific toppings
Nuts can be great sources of protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, while beans can give your salad a fiber boost. Sprinkle on:
- almonds, walnuts, pecans or unsalted peanuts
- beans (red, black, white, kidney, chick peas)
- sesame seeds
- freshly ground pepper
- low-fat cheese
- turkey strips or tuna
Dress it right
High-fat salad dressing can kill a nutritious salad, so go light. Top it off with:
- low-fat dressing
- balsamic or white wine vinaigrette
- a squeeze of fresh lemon
- Dijon mustard mixed with vinegar and minced garlic
© 2013 Dowden Health Media