By Dylan Bailey, MS
Today marks the longest day of the year, aka an event called “summer solstice”. Many of us also know this day as the official start to summer! During summer solstice, some places may experience up to 24 hours of sunlight (we’re looking at you northern tip of Alaska). Although bittersweet as each day will become shorter and shorter with less sunlight, we can still celebrate summer for all it is worth. What better way to do this than kicking off the new season with refreshing your salad knowledge?
Salads are excellent means to deliver nutrients packed in a flavor-friendly way, but they can be known to be quite boring. These tips below can help you step-up your salad game this summer as you enjoy the sunshine!
Fresh Herbs for the Win (FTW)
Herbs make for an excellent addition to any salad with their bursting flavor, and really change the entire dimension of anything they’re added to. Not to mention, they also contain vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. Fresh herbs can even be grown in your kitchen, perfect for a summer project with the kids. For an easy summer salad recipe using fresh herbs, check out this Summer Garbanzo Bean Salad, made with Libby’s® Whole Kernel Sweet Corn and Cut Green Beans.
Re-think the traditional salad by going the “slaw” route. Normal salads can be vehicles for greens like iceberg and romaine lettuce, which can be overused, boring and don’t lend tremendous flavor or texture profile. Using cabbage slaw in salads can add a unique mouthfeel and “pop” – perfect for summertime. Cabbage is also high in fiber, low in glycemic load, rich in vitamins C and K, and folate (also known as folic acid or vitamin B9). This Summery Slaw is easy to make and a perfect introductory dish for slaw beginners!
Add Some Crunch with Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts have significant health benefits and including them in salads is the perfect way to enjoy their splendor. If you can name it, nuts and seeds have it. Protein – yup. Fiber – yup. Healthy fats – yup. Antioxidants – yup. Elevate their use beyond just a snack, as these items can provide a nice texture gradient and wonderful taste (try roasted varieties for an additional level of flavor). This Warm Baby Green Salad with Peas, Pistachios and Pecorino uses pistachios to lend a rich, nutty and earthy taste element.
We here at Libby’s hope that this summer is your best one yet. We also hope that you can use these tips to continue elevating how you think about salads, all summer long!