Salads got a bad rap when they first became mainstream in western countries, starting around 1970. It was just lettuce, cucumber and, if you were lucky, some tomato with salad cream – not exactly inspiring. Want to know how to make low calories salads that actually taste good?
But things have come a long way since then. With the rise of the internet, it became much easier for cooking geniuses around the world to share their ideas. And now we have an abundance of delicious salad recipes out there helping people reach their weight loss goals.
Creating great salads, though, isn’t anything mysterious. There’s a formula to it. What’s more, when you make great salads using the methods we suggest in this article, you actually improve the nutritional content of the meal.
To summarise what we discuss below, you want to create a balance of sweet, salt, acid and fat. Here’s what to do.
Replace Oil With Nut Butters
Oil is not a healthy food, despite what you might have been told. But nut butters without added oils or sugars are extremely healthy and, despite their high calorie content, can actually help you burn fat.
When you make a salad dressing, replace the oil with nut butter. Peanut butter is delicious for making eastern dressings, while almond butter is better for classical Italian or European dressings.
Nut butter gives the salad dressing a richness that you simply can’t get if you skip the fat. It makes the salad moreish and totally transforms how filling it is.
Use A Source Of Acid
Acid is another salad essential. Acid does a couple of things. It blocks the taste of some of the less desirable elements in a salad. And it helps to pre-digest the salad a little, making it easier to chew and considerably more palatable.
There are other benefits of adding acid too. So, for instance, when you drizzle lemon juice on your salad, you reduce the blood sugar spike once the ingredients hit your stomach. Adding acid is, therefore, a great idea if you add dried fruits to your salad since it blunts the insulin response. This blunting then slash your propensity to gain weight.
You can use all types of different acids in your salad dress. Lemon juice is a good example, but you get the same effect from red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.
Use Dried Fruits To Sweeten
When you make your salad dressing, you’ll also need a sweet element. Sweetness complements the sourness of the acid component and helps to make the whole dish so much more delicious.
In general, there are two ways you can add sweetness to a salad in a healthy manner:
- Add chopped dried fruits or regular fruits to the salad itself
- Blend fruits or dried fruits into a dressing
You can actually do a combination of both. Using fruit to sweeten salads is much healthier than relying on regular sugar and it won’t promote weight gain. Dates are excellent sweeteners, but if you don’t have any in stock you can also use raisins.