As a salad lover, I know they are super healthy but can actually get boring when you eat them daily. My favorite tip? Change the toppings! Not only will you add variety, but you’ll also add health benefits.

Mix and match for a new variety, making your salad the perfect side dish for holiday meals. Whether you start your salad with a base of iceberg, romaine or darker greens like arugula, kale, and spinach, you can shake it up by keeping some of these on hand.

Nuts

Salads are delicious with the crunch of a handful of nuts like cashews, almonds, or walnuts. They also add a little protein, but since they add calories too, you only need a tablespoon or so per serving.

Seeds

There are so many health benefits of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Again, a small teaspoon is all you need.

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are delightful on salads when tossed in some olive oil and lemon juice first. If you like spicy, drain the chickpeas (don’t rinse), add to a pan and lightly stir fry in a drop of olive oil. As they dry, add a dash of buffalo or hot sauce for a zingy spicy topping that is incredibly satisfying.

Avocado

So many people love avocado on salads! They add nutrition, fiber, flavor, creaminess, and calories. Plus with all that good fat, you’ll stay fuller longer.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruits add a sweetness and nice chewiness. Consider raisins, cranberries, dates, and blueberries. You’ll often find these sold in the produce section in bags specific for salad toppings to make it easy to grab and go. Remember, they can add many calories though, like nuts.

Peas

Defrost some frozen peas and add them for flavor, texture, and added fiber.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Make a bowl of hardboiled eggs at the beginning of the week for a healthy snack and a nice salad topper. Eggs add protein and are healthy in moderation. Chop or slice them to top your salad for variety and texture added to the vegetables.

Water Chestnuts

When you want crunch without the calories of croutons or nuts, water chestnuts are the perfect option.

Herbs

Especially if you grow your own, what’s better then breaking off some pieces of herbs like cilantro, sweet basil , chives, dill, or parsley? Herbs add health benefits, pops of flavor and can help minimize the need for dressing.

Roasted Sweet Potato “Fries”

I cube sweet potatoes, add a seasoning like Montreal steak and roast them until tender. They add a unique tasty zing to salads, especially in the fall. They pair well with a sprinkling of feta cheese or nuts like walnuts too!

Toppings are a must for salads! Healthy, crunchy, flavorful….there are so many options to add to a basic lettuce salad. What are your favorites?