Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to eat bland salads because you can incorporate a variety of delectable ingredient substitutes into them. Also, if you have to buy them, you should know how to make good and healthful selections.
Vegan salads normally include raw or cooked vegetables with vegan dressing or seasoning oil. They also contain a number of vegan protein sources that are used in place of animal products.
However, vegan salads still have to supply the essential nutrition your body requires. As a result, you’ll need to add more than just greens. In addition to proteins and fiber, it should contain vitamins and minerals that help your body thrive. Therefore, you’ll need to do some planning to ensure that you choose healthy salads.
So, how do you get perfect salads that are both nutritious and flavorful? You might begin by browsing online for the best restaurants that offer them. You can identify and order from the nearest ones by typing ‘salads near me’ into the search bar. By doing so, you can get a quick and healthy fix.
But to help you find and choose vegan salads that are good for your vegan diet, below are some great tips.
- Start By Choosing A Base
The base is a crucial component of a nutritious vegan salad. It is the centerpiece of a salad and the biggest portion of the entire dish. Most traditional bases include iceberg lettuce cups or a chiffonade of lettuce.
However, modern trends have added more options aside from lettuce that fit vegan preferences. So, for your full meal salad, consider finding a base you enjoy. Some great leafy greens base choices include;
- Spinach: This base option provides iron, calcium, protein, and additional nutrients. Spinach can be eaten raw if the leaves are younger or lightly steamed if the leaves are older. Consider getting older spinach leaves if you love a savory taste with deep flavor and coarse texture. However, choose young and tender spinach leaves for a palatable and tasty option.
- Lettuce: You may never have a healthy salad without it. It’s considered one of the most nutritious plants because it contains protein, calcium that aids in strengthening the bones, and seven out of nine vitamins. Your salad will be watery and crunchy no matter what variety of lettuce you choose.
- Kale: This leafy green is full of nutrients. They come in various shapes, textures, and colors that cater to your preferences. So, when choosing your base, kale will also be a great option as it can be eaten raw.
- Pick Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs are used as a garnish on salads to add visual appeal, health benefits, and great flavor. So, depending on your preferences, fresh herbs are guaranteed to stimulate your appetite and aid digestion.
When picking your garnish, you can add a combination of herbs to achieve the salad you want. So, below are some great fresh herbs that’ll boost your nutritional value.
- Mint: If you enjoy Mediterranean-style salads, mint will be a great garnish to use because of its strong menthol flavor or peppery taste. Orange mint is also a great option because it has a mild citrus flavor.
- Parsley: This can be used both as a salad green and herb. Depending on your preference, you can add one of the three types of parsley to your salads. If you want a slightly bitter flavor, consider flat-leaf parsley. However, if you want something that adds life to your salad, consider incorporating curly parsley into your potato and pasta salads.
- Coriander: Fresh coriander has been known to bring vitality to Thai noodle salad and vegan Santa Fe salad due to its awesome taste. It also pairs well with avocado, red onions, chili, and ginger.
- Lemon Balm and Basil: These fresh herbs are easy to grow and work amazingly with fruit salads. For a citrus flavor, lemon balm will be a perfect add-in. But for an amazing aroma, add Basil because it has a strong, sweet smell and a pepper-minty taste.
- Tarragon: This fresh herb adds nice, delicate notes to your salad when used as a garnish. It has a bittersweet flavor that’s subtle and it pairs well with carrots and onions.
- Choose High-Protein Ingredients
Many people ask how you’ll get enough protein in a vegan salad. Surprisingly, it’s easy to get plenty of vegan proteins that’ll amount to fifty-five grams. So, to ensure you stay on track when choosing a nutritious vegan salad, below are some great high-protein options that you can consider.
- Tofu: This high-protein food is filled with calcium, magnesium, and nine amino acids. It supports bone health, lowers cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of heart disease, and boosts your immune system. It comes in three different forms, but the extra-firm variety is the most ideal choice for salads. They have a chewier texture that is similar to some types of animal meat.
- Quinoa: It’s known as a good source of protein and fiber and is gluten-free. It helps lower cholesterol levels and reduces diabetes and heart disease risks.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas are the perfect protein addition to salads if you want a tasty, explosive flavor and crunch.
- Settle For Healthy Fats
Because the body cannot produce certain healthful fats, it’s crucial to obtain them. These fats are essential for the immune system, brain health, and eyes. Some great options for healthy fats include;
- Nuts: Although fats vary in quantity amongst nut types, they all provide the required energy. Some great nut options include walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and almonds.
- Seeds: The right types of seeds are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Some great options include hemp, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, poppy seeds, linseed, and flaxseed.
- Avocados: This fruit is high in good fat and can transform your salad into something flavorful.
- Add A Salad Dressing And Sweetness From Fruits
A salad dressing can make a big difference if done right. Besides, salad dressings can be made with simple ingredients that accentuate the flavor and taste of your salad. In addition to salad dressings, consider choosing the right fruits and have them chopped and added to your salad.
Different fruits add different flavors and textures. For instance, apples add a crisp texture while berries enhance the flavor of leafy greens.
Vegan salads don’t have to be bland anymore. There are many ways of incorporating texture, taste, and flavor without going overboard. Ensure that you keep your preferences and nutritional needs in mind before choosing a vegan salad. Don’t be scared to play with different add-ins, as you might love the result. And remember, if you need a quick and healthy fix, go online and type ‘salads near me’ into the search bar to find the nearest salad shop.