With so many interesting ingredients now available, salads can be everything from a side and main to a tasty dessert, says BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor.
Long gone are the days when all we put into a salad were cold, hard tomatoes, thin slithers of cucumber and limp lettuce. Today, salads can test your imagination like no other meal.
The key is to ensure you have a balance of food groups. Along with a mix of cooked and raw vegetables, include protein such as lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, beans or lentils or low-fat dairy, and some starchy carbohydrate. Try some boiled, halved new potatoes, chunks of cooked sweet potato, cooked wholegrain pasta or brown rice, or simply have some wholegrain bread on the side.
Don’t forget to think about how the combination of ingredients looks together - balance colour as well as food groups.
Don’t stop at savoury – fruit salads can serve as tasty snacks or delicious puddings and are a great way to get a variety of fruits in your diet, helping you towards your recommended 5-a-day.
Visit our portion guide to find out what makes one of your 5-a-day
Think about which fruit combinations work in terms of flavour, as well as texture and appeal on the plate. Try grouping fruits according to colour, for example strawberries, raspberries and cherries, or for a contrast try sliced pears with blackberries scattered over the top.
Tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango and banana are also delicious together. To get the juices flowing and enhance sweetness, how about grilling or griddling fruits? Peaches, pineapples, apricots, plums, pears, figs and even grapefruit are excellent grilled, baked or barbecued. This is also a great trick to soften up fruits that are a bit under-ripe.
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