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Home / More Lifestyle / Summer lovin’: Add salads with seasonal produce to your diet for a shot of health

Summer lovin’: Add salads with seasonal produce to your diet for a shot of health

Salads made with fresh seasonal produce are not only easy to put together but also pack a healthy punch and provide essential minerals and nutrients to combat summer blues.

more-lifestyle Updated: Jul 14, 2020 18:13 IST
Etti Bali
Etti Bali
Hindustan Times
Nothing excites the palate in summers like a bowl of salad.
Nothing excites the palate in summers like a bowl of salad.(Photo: iStock)

Salads are a sensory experience. The flesh of a juicy jamun or a fat litchi is enough to entice anyone into stealing a bunch from the neighbour’s verandah. Colours of deep purple contrasting with brilliantly with orange and scarlet are a treat to the eyes. Zesty flavours of lemon and lime dance playfully on the palate. Accompanied with the crunch of greens and the nuttiness of seeds, this seasonal produce makes for the perfect salads. They are not only easy to put together but also pack a healthy punch and provide essential minerals and nutrients to combat summer blues.

“A wholesome salad is a perfect way to sneak in additional nutrients in your diet. It is full of antioxidants, which help keep a check on free radicals, keeping lifestyle disorders at bay. Salads also meet our body’s fibre requirement which is essential in promoting gut health,” says nutritionist Kavita Devgan.

While the heat is enough to deplete the body of its nutrients, summer also brings with it a bounty of fruits and vegetables to keep the body hydrated. “The salads should have a base (sprouts or greens), a dressing (lemon/vinegar/balsamic ) and a topping (crisp nuts, toasted bread). Fruits like woodapple, watermelon, and veggies like cucumber and drumsticks are an important summer ingredient. Adding millets is a wonderful idea for that extra protein. Serve it chilled to ensure freshness,” says chef Nishant Choubey.

But for those trying to avoid cold food due to various reasons, chef Kunal Kapur has a solution. “I would not recommend cold salads at this time, but if you must, then I advise going the kimchi way. The pickling makes it an immunity-booster and helps aid digestion,” he says. Originally made with Cabbage and Korean radish, Kimchi can be made with celery, carrots , cucumber, bamboo shoots and beetroot using chopped ginger and garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil.

Make Salads Fun Again

Devgan suggests playing up with ingredients and adding a new item as and when one likes. “Add at least one source of protein — boiled egg, tofu, cheese, lean cuts of some meat. Alfalfa and wheatgrass sprouts add a brilliant green to the bowl. Play with leaves; baby spinach, dense arugula, watercress sprigs work best,” she says.

Dress it up nicely

Add a dash of olive or sesame oil to the dressing as they help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, i.e., vitamins A,D, E and K. Nuts and seeds are always a good idea as they not only add a bite, but also provide omega-3 and mono unsaturated fats. “Honey mustard lemon, lemon olive oil vinaigrette, and tamarind soy are some healthy dressings. To ensure the dressings last long, use fresh oil and store in moisture-proof glass jars,” advises Choubey.

Here are some easy-to-make recipes that are wholesome, delicious and high on nutritional value.

Jamun Chaat

Jamun Chaat by chef Nishant Choubey.
Jamun Chaat by chef Nishant Choubey.

Deseed 300g jamun. In a pan, cook 100ml tamarind juice with 2tsp palm sugar and cook till it attains a sauce-like consistency. Add 1tsp spy sauce and ½ tsp salt. In a bowl, add jamun slices, some chopped green chilli, slices from one garlic clove, 80g sliced cherry tomatoes, 40g crushed peanuts, ¼ tsp lemon juice, 10g mushroom sauce and a pinch of chaat masala. Dress it with 4tsp tamarind sauce. Serve chilled with fresh coriander and a lemon wedge. - Recipe by chef Nishant Choubey, Seinan Group.

Kale and cranberries salad with litchi chunks

Kale and cranberries salad with litchi chunks.
Kale and cranberries salad with litchi chunks.

Make orange dressing with 15ml orange juice, 10ml each of olive oil and honey, and crushed black pepper and salt to taste. In a bowl, take 100g shredded kale, 20g orange segments and 15g litchi chunks. Mix in the dressing, top it up with 20g goat cheese and garnish with 5g puffed melon seeds and 15gm cranberries. - Recipe by chef Vinay Trilokiya, Farzi Cafe.

Pearl barley, almonds and pomegranate salad

Pearl barley, almonds and pomegranate salad.
Pearl barley, almonds and pomegranate salad.

Add 100g soaked pearl barley in a pan of boiling water and cook for three minutes, or until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Transfer barley to a large bowl and set aside. Mix boiled barley, 60ml coconut oil, 1tbsp harissa paste and 1-1/2 tbsp pomegranate syrup in a bowl. Toss seeds of one small pomegranate, 50g boiled broccoli florets, chopped parsley and mint leaves, three chopped spring onions, 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil and ½ tsp lemon juice. Top with 80g roasted almonds and serve with brown bread garlic toast. - Recipe by chef Manoj Rawat, Hilton Garden Inn.

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