Give Your Salad A Crunchy Upgrade And Double Down On The Seeds

Hand spooning seeds on salad
Hand spooning seeds on salad - Solstock/Getty Images

When you're in the mood for a bright refreshing meal, your favorite salad and salad dressing recipes fit the bill. If you eat salads on the regular, you already have no problem getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals from fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Yet even with a plate full of crisp greens and colorful produce, you might have a newfound desire to upgrade your go-to lunch with more protein, flavor, and texture. While you can always add sliced chicken, beans, and shredded or crumbled cheese to your next meal, seeds are a versatile way to boost everyday salads in more ways than one. Instead of adding just one variety of seeds, combine two or more of your favorite varieties for added flavor and nutrition.

In fact, seeds are significant sources of fiber, protein, and fat whereas each individual variety contains varying degrees of important vitamins and minerals. Consuming a few of your favorite seeds at once may not only improve your long-term health but also make the general salad-eating experience more enjoyable. To give your salad more texture, choose seeds with different flavors and sizes. If you typically use sunflower seeds, add a small handful of sesame seeds to the mix for extra crunch. Luckily, depending on what you're in the mood for, there are a multitude of seed combinations worth trying.

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Upgrade Your Salads With A Variety Of Crunchy Seeds

Assorted seeds on metal spoons
Assorted seeds on metal spoons - Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

To enhance your favorite strawberry spinach salad with seeds, you may think your options are limited. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds tend to be the most popular since they're consistently used as traditional staples in everyday recipes like granola or zucchini bread. Both varieties are delicious in their own right and house distinct flavor profiles. Yet, if you want to expand your horizons, consider mixing one of these popular varieties with chia, hemp, flax, or sesame seeds.

Even though each of these tiny seeds has its own distinguishable health benefits, adding raw chia, hemp, or sesame seeds to your next salad is a great way to add depth and flavor. Consider pairing pumpkin seeds with hemp seeds or sunflower seeds with chia seeds. While chia seeds are mild in flavor and quite small, hemp seeds have a heartier texture and distinct earthy flavor. To make use of multiple seeds at once, consider prepping small containers with more than one variety. At meal times, all you need to do is add a sprinkle of your newfound seed mix to your bed of greens.

While chia, sesame, and hemp seeds are all fine to eat whole, consume whole flax seeds sparingly. Mayo Clinic points out that whole flax seeds are difficult to digest and may cause minor stomach upset. To solve this issue, use ground flaxseed to make a delicious salad-friendly seed topping.

Tasty Unique Ways To Add More Seeds To Your Next Salad

Salad and a bowl of seeds
Salad and a bowl of seeds - irina02/Shutterstock

Combining multiple seeds into one salad may seem like a good idea, but how do you get the smaller, less common varieties into your mouth? If you want to add ground flax seeds to your next salad, incorporate multiple seed varieties into one bowl and make a simple pan of seed crackers. Since flax seeds absorb water, mix ground flax with a variety of other seeds, along with some oil and water to make baked seed crackers. Add these tasty broken crackers to your next plate of veggies for an ultra-satisfying crunch.

Another way of joining multiple seeds together is with water and honey. Mix your chosen combination of seeds with a bit of water, honey, and salt, and bake in a low-temperature oven until evenly toasted. When cooled, this mixture can also be broken apart and added to a variety of salads.

If you're hesitant to add more ingredients, simply toast your combination of seeds for an instant upgrade. This step alone provides your next serving of greens with an adequate amount of texture and flavor. Whether you choose to make roasted pumpkin seeds, seed crackers, or a homemade raw seed mix, adding extra seeds to your favorite salads is a great way to add an extra satisfying crunch.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.