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Liven up your Leaves!

Summer (yes it is still summer!) is the perfect time to start swapping your main meals for fresh, nutritious salads, but sometimes salads do get a bit of a bad rep and if they’re made up of the same standard ingredients day in, day out they’re not going to excite or entice – are they? Luckily, there are so many easy and fast ways to ‘pimp’ up your salad, making them even more nutritious and satisfying, and helping you hit your 7-a-day fill.

Here’s 5 ways to pimp your salad:

1. Go nutty

Add some nuts and seeds as they give a great texture and crunch to your salad with massive nutritional benefits. A source of fibre and heart-healthy fats, nuts and seeds are a great way to jazz up your salad. Sprinkle on some sunflower, pumpkin or hemp seeds (also a great source of protein), along with some walnuts, pecans or almonds, all packed with vitamin E to nourish your skin.  This Nutty Pea Quinoa Salad from Deliciously Ella is just delicious – we’ve had it a few times already over the holidays….

2. Mix it up with your greens

Keep it interesting at the base…..swap your usual gem or romaine lettuce leaves with other greens such as kale, spinach, argula, and rocket. Not only do these help vary the taste, but spinach and kale are packed full of fibre and iron – so a win, win!

3. Play around with Protein

This is one of the best ways to ensure your body gets a broad range of nutrients and essential fatty acids. Mixing up the taste and texture will also ensure your bowls of goodness never get boring. Choose from lean white meats such as chicken and turkey or ramp up the omega-3 value by adding smoked salmon or tuna steak or go veggie and opt for tofu or feta cheese (we love cold poached salmon with a generous squeeze of lime juice!).

4. Pack a flavour punch

Herbs and spices can change the face and taste of salad in one large sprinkle!  Try adding a few pinches of dill to a smoked salmon salad, or Coriander to prawns, maybe thyme to your chicken concoction and don’t forget crushed chillies are great for metabolism and help burn more calories….Try this rather tasty Thai Beef Salad from Joe Wicks

5. Taste the rainbow

Think outside of the box!  Salads don’t have to just be made up of the standard ‘salad’ ingredients and by mixing them up you can increase the nutritional benefits.  Roast some peppers, courgette and aubergine and try to include as much colour as possible by tossing beetroots, carrots and grilled asparagus.   We are also big fans of butternut squash and sweet potato, it’ll increase density and also the colours look great if you’re serving friends and family.  Check out these Rainbow Salads on BBC Recipes..

Tah-dah!  And you’re off….bon appetite….