Fresh from the Garden: Salad Ingredients for Great Nutrition

Tuesday Oct 4, 2016

When it comes to building a garden salad, you can't go wrong with crisp lettuce, crunchy vegetables and a drizzle of your favorite dressing.

But the simplicity of a garden salad doesn't mean it has to be boring. There are many healthy salad ingredients that can pack a nutritional punch, whether you are eating it as an appetizer or meal. We understand that sometimes you just need a break from pizza, but don't take too long of a break. To get started on a great garden salad, start at the base.

Greens

There are many greens to choose from for a garden salad. Traditionally, a garden salad begins with an American salad blend, which is a mixture of iceberg lettuce, Romaine lettuce and cabbage. Romaine is a good source of folic acid. It is a popular garden salad base due to its long leaves and crunchy texture. The green leaf is rich in vitamins A and K.

Don't be tied down to just one type of lettuce though. Other greens like kale, spinach, red leaf lettuces and arugula can also be added to a garden salad. All of these greens have a lot of nutritional value.

Vegetables

A garden salad also has red onion, tomato and peppers. Depending on your region, it might be topped with green pepper or pickled peppers like pepperoncini. If you're searching for other healthy salad ingredients, then you might want to consider some other vegetables, such as:

  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Black olives
  • Onion
  • Cucumber
  • Beets

You can even add vegetables like Brussels sprouts, zucchini and squash, which can all be eaten raw and will spruce up your salad. Each of these vegetables has various vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C, E, K and B1-B6, as well as folate, niacin, potassium, iron and much more.

Add Some More Flavor

While a garden salad is based on items that can be found in the garden, hence the name, you can give it more flavor by adding protein like chicken, ham or salami. Cheese can also be a good source of protein and calcium.

Last but not least, dress your salad. There are a number of dressings to choose from, including fat free choices, vinaigrettes and creamy dressings. What's the most popular dressing in the U.S.? Ranch. If you're not a fan of ranch, Italian dressing is a great option. For those seeking something more pungent, bleu cheese dressing might be your dressing of choice.

Hungry Howie's offers a garden salad topped with tomato, onion and green peppers. If you're looking for something more, we also have several other salads topped with varying meats, cheeses and other healthy salad ingredients.

Sources:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/04/01/297704835/its-official-americans-are-floating-in-a-pool-of-ranch-dressing