Fresh ideas for fresh ingredients

19. April 2023

Is salad just a side dish to you? You’ve come to the right place! We want to prove that salads are much more than a couple of green leaves. Do you know how many types of salads there are? Around 18 different ones in our continent! They are divided into 2 groups: the lettuce-like ones, i.e. everything that has large leaves such as iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce. The second group are chicory-like. These include endive or radicchio.

If you prefer rocket or lamb's lettuce, these species form their own group together with traditional varieties such as purslane or miner's lettuce. Fun fact: these types often grow in our front gardens — completely unrecognized — and are waiting to be discovered and picked by us.

Great on the inside and on the outside

You see, salads aren’t boring after all! And thanks to the different species, a variety of leaves are available all through the year. That’s great, because fresh greens don’t just bring colour to your plate. Let's start with the quantities. The good news: You can't have too much salad! The leaves consist of 95% water and barely any calories. So you can enjoy as much as you like.

However, there‘s a lot more in the fresh leaves than just water. For example, vitamins A, B and C and vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, they provide plenty of fibre, which supports healthy digestion. The bitter lettuce varieties also provide secondary plant compounds such as polyphenols, carotenoids or flavonoids.
The formula to staying young!

Key to staying fit and healthy

The great thing about salads is that you can make them even healthier with lots of tasty extras. If you like texture, sesame seeds, peanuts or pumpkin seeds not only add an extra crunch, but also healthy fatty acids and minerals. If you want to enjoy your salad as more than just a side dish, you can enhance it with a variety of additions to make it a satisfying main meal. How about roasted mushrooms and apples with rocket, for example? Or a savoury combination of sun-ripened blood oranges and crisp celery, perfectly topped off with fresh basil pesto?

A wonderfully flavourful option is to mix bitter lettuces like endive and chicory with sweet carrots and cucumbers. Garnished with tart pomegranate seeds, this version has what it takes to become your new favourite salad. Even trendy vegetables like kale can be made into a tasty salad in no time. Peppers and cucumber go very well with it. In addition, freshly cut chilli peppers give a spicy kick.

The secret to a great dressing

Good oils are the key. Not only do they provide essential fatty acids, but depending on the variety, they also have their own flavour, for example olive or walnut oils. Sunflower or canola oils are more neutral. Experiment around with which oil and salad combination suits your own taste. Oils also help make the vitamins in raw foods such as carrots more absorbable to the body.

Of course, we also have an insider tip: Kikkoman sauces. They perfectly complement dressings. Our naturally brewed Kikkoman soy sauce brings savoury umami flavour to salads. And Kikkoman Ponzu Sauce provides fresh citrus notes to salad dressings.

Have our ideas inspired you to try out some delicious salad recipes for yourself? Wonderful! Click here to go directly to the recipes. Enjoy!

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