Salad Bag Swag
At Salads are Sweet, good for you food is easy & tastes great. That's why I'm dishing out 3 simple tips, to boost your bagged salad. Because there isn't anything simpler than that.
I would be lying if I said I never ate bagged salad, because I do. At any one time you will find a bagged salad in my fridge--keep it as an insurance policy, typically because they last a long time. Which
got me thinking...what’s in there that makes them last so long, and is the nutrient content still the same?
Why Bagged Salads/PreWashed Green stay fresher, longer
Well given that you buy them fresh, and not turning liquid and soggy, they should withstand a few days in the produce drawer. It is because most packaged greens have undergone a process call MAP (modified atmosphere packaging) sayy whattt? Sounds like space food! But it goes a little something like this. Fruits and vegetables will often begin to loose nutrients when exposed to oxygen or air, so in packaged greens the oxygen is sucked out, and replaced with an inert (and harmless) gas like nitrogen. This will enhance color retention, and preserve sensitive nutrients like folate, Vit C and beta carotene-- which has actual research! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10794612)
Do you wash your pre-washed bagged salad?
The reason we love these nifty things is because we don’t have to wash them! Isn’t that the point?? So having said that, Jessica, do you wash your pre-washed salads? I do not. But I will take the time to sift through the leaves and discard any nasty looking ones (soft, wilted or mushy). Most of the pre-washed goodies are done so in a way that will minimize losses aka) not damage the goods which in turn will give you a higher quality (higher nutrient dense) product.
So what’s the bottom line?
These are convenience products, so you may pay more for them, but if they help you eat yo greens then I think it’s worth it, don’t you? Well I guess that is a matter of opinion, but think about it. How much fresh produce do you buy, and then find that it goes to waste before you eat it? Exactly my point...you do you, and for me, that means bagged salads sometimes, which is why I came up with a few simple tricks to make your bagged salads a little sweeter--because salads are sweet after all, aren’t they?
Now here are my top 3 tips to keep your salad game strong, these are basic tips, but I use them every day!
1. Mix up the lettuce. Use the slaw/ lettuce that came with the pre-mix, but bulk it up with other lettuce like romaine, iceberg, or spinach. Lettuce mixing is a great way to add texture, and increase nutrient value. Crunching on long strings of brussel sprouts or cabbage can be a challenge, so when you dilute these hearty greens with something softer, you get the best of both worlds!
2. Add more stuff. We all love bagged salads for the little topping bags, but why stop there? Chop more veggies like cucumber, tomato, carrots, or even add fruit like strawberries or diced apples, throw on some seeds, granola or even dried cereal for crunch! This is where the sky's the limit truly! A great chance to use up leftovers too, including protein from the night before...I think I even chopped up a leftover omelette on top of a salad before...and it worked too!
3. Un-dress your dressing. Rather than just using the dressing in the bag, pour it into a jar or container and add some additional ingredients. Mix it with vinegar (red wine, balsamic), add some dried herbs or an extra drizzle of oil/water/milk (if creamy dressing) to thin it out, and make a little, go a long way. Forget that boring poppy seed dressing now! Make it a tangy cider poppy seed, or a dill-infused poppy seed, you get the idea!
Now errrrbody, go forth and make some sweet salads! And if you do, please send me photos and contact me via my site to share your beautiful creations, or tag me on instagram @salads_are_sweet