Salad is a great healthy, clean eating meal option. However, calorie laden, carb loaded, sugar-filled salad toppings can make a good thing go bad real quick! We never want to consider that salad could be making us fat. So let’s get the skinny on salad topping and explore 35+ healthy salad topping alternatives to add great flavor and nutritional value to your salad!
I love that my three boys love salad. But salad can get boring quickly. We tend to get in a rut eating the same things in it with the same salad dressing. So to keep my boys loving salad, we started mixing up our salad toppings. Their most favorite salad topping is dried cranberries. But when my husband and I looked at what we were adding to our bodies while eating a “healthy salad” we realized just how quickly a salad could become a dumping ground of sugar and bad carbs. Thus the quest for healthy salad toppings!
Raw fruits and vegetables are always great options for salads or to serve as a side with your meal. My hubby always reminds me that although it’s natural, fruit is still sugar and nuts and avocados are still a fat. So while they are can be clean eating options, it’s always best to consume in moderation.
Healthy Salad Toppings
Alfalfa Sprouts — try them oven roasted in a little bit of olive oil
Bell Peppers, green, red, yellow or orange
Eggs, hard boiledn– only 1 or 2
Cheese is a tricky one. Consumed in small quantities, cheese can be a healthy source of calcium and protein for you. However, it is so easy to overdo it on cheese. So while I can’t classify this as a good choice or a poor choice, what I will say is be mindful of your portion and make a smart decision based on your body. Here are some healthier cheese options for you to consider:
Blue Cheese, crumbles
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
What’s the deal with dressings?
A simple fresh-squeezed lemon or lime is a natural, flavorful salad dressing. Nothing artificial, no extra calories. While many people love it, my taste buds crave more. I crave creamy. But we know that typicall creamy = calories. While vinaigrettes typically have a thin consistency, they do satisfy my dressing desires because of the amazing flavors that they bring to the table. Vinaigrettes could probably take home the title of “best choice for healthy dressings”. Still have the need for cream? Yogurt-based dressings are great alternatives to creamy dressings. All the creaminess, all the flavor, less calories! And of course, another great salad dressing option is fresh salsa! Delicious!
While it’s occasionally okay to splurge on some of the “other” salad toppings, my goal is to help me, my family, and you eat healthier and to take care of our bodies. As if that’s not enough, okay fine, choosing healthier toppings gives you permission to splurge on dessert instead of worrying about all the unnecessary sugars, carbs, and calories in your salad!