If you are into meal prepping, you may already be incorporating superfoods into your weekly meal plans. One way to do this effectively is by using salads, either in regular containers or in mason jar options. These can be prepared a few days to a week ahead of time and can help ensure you are getting the superfoods you need in quantities you may not normally have available. Here are five of the most common superfood salad ideas and how you can prep each ahead of time for your busy week.
The basics behind the fruit salad are to choose fruits that have not only the nutrients you are looking for, but also a reasonable water content. This will help hydrate you and will help the flavors intermingle to give you a juice as well as a salad component. Some of the more common fruits for this type of salad are blueberries, strawberries, and mangos. You can go with a watermelon-based salad and add feta cheese and nuts as well or an apple and walnut based salad with greek yogurt to give you multiple superfoods and pack in as many nutrients and good oils as possible.
When you think of green salad you may be thinking of your typical house salad or side salad. The key here is to focus on the leafy greens that are packed with iron and combine them with other proteins. For example, you could take kale and spinach as your base, both known for being iron-packed superfoods. Then you can add a fruit-based dressing made of blueberries or a green goddess dressing packed with even more green vegetables and oils. Avocado slices can add an even bigger kick to this type of salad, keeping with the green color theme and giving you a superfood that holds multiple benefits.
The idea with a tropical salad is to grab fruits that you would not normally have and that meet the superfood criteria. For example, you may want to reach for mango, papaya, plantains instead of bananas, and fresh coconut. You can even use simple ginger and coconut milk puree to create a dressing that will give added benefits and a spicy kick.
If you want something that packs a bit more of a punch than just greens or fruit, consider a simple salmon salad. You can use a grilled or broiled salmon as the main protein and get your omega oils in the process. A bed of broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus can give the added anti-aging kick with a small base of kale or other leafy green. If that doesn’t add enough taste for you, or you find it to be a little dry consider a ginger and olive oil blend dressing or sauce. You have a full salad of superfoods packed with anti-aging and memory-boosting properties all in one meal.
If you are trying to find ways to pack a salad for your kids, but you want them to actually eat it, consider doing a fresh kid-friendly fruit salad with apples, greek yogurt, and walnuts. This will give the superfood of apples as the base, greek yogurt that can be supercharged with chia seeds, and walnuts for your seeds and nuts components. Your kids think they are eating a common fruit they love, while you know they are getting the superfoods they need to keep them active throughout the day and boost their memory.
Remember that the trick to superfood salads, especially ones made in a jar and prepped ahead of time, is in the layering. You want to keep your harder vegetables towards the bottom and leafy greens towards the top. You can choose to have your salad dressing on the side rather than in the jar, if you want to make the salads last a few days longer and keep harder vegetables from softening over time.
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