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Enjoy summer’s local harvest salad-style!  Organic salads are the perfect summer meal!  They’re cool and light on a hot day (it’s coming!).  You don’t have to heat up the oven or stove top and you can prepare most of it ahead of time and be ready with a nutritious meal after a long day of work or play!  

There are basically 5 types of salads with endless possibilities.  There’s the green salad, the fruit salad, the rice and pasta salads, bound salads, and the dinner salad.  Each uniquely highlights different produce items perfectly!

The green salad is often referred to as a garden salad and usually consists of lettuce, spinach or leafy greens of any sort.  It’s often topped with a vinaigrette or light dressing.  In American restaurants we’re usually served green salads before a meal.  In some European countries the green salad is served at the end of the meal and thought to improve digestion.  Maybe we pick to have it first so that we’re sure to eat it before we’re too full! Some parents pick to serve salad first, because the kids are more likely to eat it if it’s served before carbs.

Everyone loves a delicious fruit salad!  There’s no fussing to get kids to eat it and could be added to every meal or as a dessert!  Fruit is high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants and has a low energy density level.  There’s no right or wrong way to create a fruit salad. Simply chop up and put together your favorites! Adding a little lemon, orange or pineapple juice to your fruit salad will help keep the colors of the fruit bright and prevent them from browning. Fruit salad is best consumed shortly after preparation to maintain freshness.

Rice, quinoa and pasta salads are a great base for adding all sorts of diced up veggies, increasing the nutritional value of your more filling meal or side dish.  They can be prepared ahead of time and will even take on more of the flavors as they rest in the refrigerator for a bit.  If you dice up the veggies small, you can keep them raw and pack in a lot of nutritional density, filled with lots of beautiful colors, and yummy crunch!  

The bound salad generally is made of hearty, non-leafy ingredients bound together with a thicker dressing and can even keep its shape if scooped with an ice cream scoop.  Bound salads are often used to make a delicious hearty sandwich by topping a piece of whole wheat bread with a scoop of something like a chicken salad or chickpea salad and topping it with lettuce.  Or a bound salad could be a side dish of potato salad, combined with a variety of veggie crunch!

Last but not least, is the dinner salad.  The dinner salad is a hearty stand-alone that fills your plate with a combination of delicious and nutritious produce items and usually includes an added protein. Some popular dinner salads include taco salad, Buddha bowls, Asian salad, salmon salad, but the sky’s the limit! Variety is also multiplied when you factor in salad dressings! They deserve their own spotlight and we’ll talk more about that later!

We’d love to see some of your favorite salads and be inspired by your creations!  Share on social media and tag “Klesick’s” and we’ll reshare for all to enjoy!

Joelle Klesick