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Five Simple Ways to Add to Sizzle to Your Summer Salad
By Wendy Battles, Contributing Expert at www.smartwomenscafe.com

One of the best parts of summer is that there's ample opportunity to take advantage of fresh produce that supports a healthy lifestyle. As a health coach, it's like Christmas in July for me -- there's so much to choose from that I'm continually trying recipes with seasonal ingredients that are light and delicious.

Do you want ideas on how to give your summer salad a little more sizzle? Here are five simple ideas that will add more flavor and fun.

  1. Shop at a local farmers' market or farm stand. What's better than just picked fresh fruit or vegetables right off the farm? I head to my local farmers' market almost every Saturday in the summer and I base the next week's menu on what's available. Be open to new possibilities, try things that you might not be familiar with and ask for a sample to see if you like it. Just the adventure of being there can get your creative juices flowing.
  2. Buy locally grown salad greens. There's such a huge difference in the taste and nutritional value of pre-packaged, store bought lettuce and what you can find locally. Local greens are more tender, have more flavor and because they haven't been shipped across the country, they contain a lot more nutrients. At our local farmers' market, I can choose from fresh arugula, baby green, Swiss Chard, kale and a whole host of others. These local greens create the basis for a great salad.
  3. Add fresh herbs. I'm amazed by how something as simple as fresh basil, dill or parsley can enhance the flavors in a salad and make it much more interesting. Just like other greens, herbs are chock full of antioxidants and various nutrients that help keep us healthy. For example, did you know that parsley has ample amounts of folic acid and vitamins A and C?
  4. Experiment with a variety of tomatoes. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene that's been linked to supporting heart health, among other things. The best news is that there are so many varieties of fresh tomatoes that you can try different ones and see what you like best.
  5. Lighten up with fresh fruit. For a change of pace, add fresh blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries to your salad. Berries are so healthy, chock full of antioxidants and when locally grown, are so flavorful. Make a simple citrus dressing and add your favorite greens, other veggies and even a little gorgonzola cheese and you're in for a taste treat.

In the end, the only limitation on a great seasonal, summer salad is your imagination. With great ingredients, you can turn a basic salad into something the whole family can get excited about.

Wendy Battles Plasse is a health coach, helping busy women master the art of preparing quick, healthy and delicious meals that won't break the bank.

Sign up for 10 Tips to Improve Your Health Today at her Web site, http://dontworrygethealthy.com.

Of Special Interest:   HFHS Menopause Support Blog   HFHS Women's Health
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