As we move into salad season, it's important to make sure this summer staple doesn't leave you feeling hungry, and that you don't become bored by sticking to the same old ingredients.
Including healthy fats that are rich in protein and fibre to your salads is a great way to get a nutritional boost and give you that satisfied, full feeling that lasts for hours. Healthy fats include unsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and Omega-3 fatty acids and small amounts of some saturated fats such as coconut oil.
Olives - What’s the Healthiest Type of Olive?
Olives can be a lovely colourful addition to a salad and so easy to have as a store cupboard staple, often available in jars and tins. Buy the best quality you can afford.
Green olives, which are picked before they ripen, tend to be higher in polyphenols. Black olives, which are allowed to ripen on the tree, generally have higher oil content.
Research shows that eggs contribute top nutrition, including riboflavin, folate, and vitamins D and B12 to any meal They get a bad rep because they contain cholesterol and saturated fat. But research shows that the cholesterol in eggs (and in the diet in general) doesn’t necessarily contribute to cholesterol in the body.
However studies do suggest it is important to be aware of total saturated fat in the diet, regardless of whether it is from an egg yolk or not. One large egg actually only contains 1.6 grams of saturated fat.
One simple salad that includes eggs is a good old-fashioned egg salad. For extra protein and some more fat, add greek yogurt instead of mayonaisse. Try adding extra nutritional boosts like celery and a sprinkle of spices like cumin, turmeric and black pepper.
Always a super addition to a salad, but remember, a little goes a long way. Although a brillint source of fats, protein and fibre, nuts can be highly calorific! Known to have a protective benefit for heart health nuts also help to burn calories more efficiently and are proven to add a satiety factor into your daily diet.
Add a mix of nuts chopped and sprinkled on top of a salad (or soup) or why not think about using almond butter to make a nice nutty sauce. The simple additon of this dressing full of healthy fats will make your salad a more filling and satisfying meal.
Choose from Option 1 or 2 and just blitz to make a lovely dressing
3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
2 tbsp natural almond or peanut butter
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
2 tsp honey
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove , minced
1/4 tsp hot-red-chili-flakes
1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts
1⁄2cup extra virgin oil
1⁄4cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄4cup juice of an Orange
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, to taste
It’s very simple to add avocados to just about any salad. The most difficult part is knowing if the avocado is ready.
Avocados are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, the good kind of fat, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. It accounts for about three-quarters of the calories in an avocado. Monounsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. They are a good source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin K and fibre, which aids digestion and helps maintain regularity. Additionally, avocados are high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium, containing even more potassium per gram than bananas. Fresh avocados contain lycopene and beta-carotene, which are important carotenoid antioxidants. The highest concentration of these antioxidants is located in the dark green flesh closest to the peel. Antioxidants help reduce cell damage.
If you are following a weight loss plan, there is no need to avoid this type of food. As with all high fat foods, simply think portion control when integrating it into your meal plan.
If you're not a big fan of avocado, but want to give it a try to get all of these benefits, try this.
Avocado-based creamy dressing
Greek yogurt (start with 200mls and add as you wish)
Lemon juice (about juice of 1/2 a lemon)
Chopped parsley (as much as you like)
Salt and pepper into a blender and enjoy.
This is probably one of the easiest ways to add a healthy dose of fat to your next salad.
Seeds are extremely easy to toss in, regardless of the type of salad. You can add a scoop of seeds as a topping or have it be a part of your dressing. Keep a good store in the cupboard and mix and match. Have a good choice of hemp, flax, chia seeds as well as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Gives a boost of heart-healthy Omega 3 fats, protein and vitamin E. Seeds can also be lightly toasted and stored in a jar. Toasting or roasting lightly brings out the taste and flavour.
From time to time, try swapping other meats or poultry for a serving of fatty fish that is high in protein and Omega-3s. This all adds to the satiety content of the meal. Popular types of fatty fish include salmon, anchovies, sea bass, mackerel, and sardines. Oily fish has also been linked to help against heart disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia. It's a good source of vitamin D, protein, some B vitamins and selenium. It's also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that is good for our overall health.
Olive oil is one of the easiest ways to dress your salad. It is a super anti inflammatory and contains high levels of antioxidants. It’s also considered a monounsaturated fatty acid, which is a healthy dietary fat. Be sure to get extra virgin for the most benefits, the best quality you can afford.
Make your own flavoured oils. Add pepper flakes, garlic cloves, or thyme in an airtight glass bottle with your favorite olive oil. Let it marinate and the end result is a vibrant gut filling topping for your next salad.
Now that you have the best salad add-ins to give your diet a healthy boost of fat, don’t be afraid to get creative and make the most out of your bed of greens.
Salad in a Jar
Such an easy way of prepping in advance.
Put your liquid and wet ingredientson the bottom and layer up to the leaves at the top.
When serving, turn upside down and the dressing trickle through.