Unlock the Full Nutritional Benefits of Veggies

 

Salad vegetablesWendy White, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, led a recent study that suggests eating salad greens and vegetables with added fat—in the form of soybean oil—enhances the absorption of various micronutrients that promote human health. Soybean oil is a common ingredient in commercial salad dressings.

Salad vegetables with added oil aided in the absorption of several micronutrients: alpha and beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene; two forms of vitamin E and vitamin K; and vitamin A. White said better absorption of these nutrients promotes a range of health benefits, including cancer prevention and eyesight preservation.

The study also found that the amount of oil added to the vegetables had a proportional relationship with the amount of nutrient absorption. White said, “The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption.” This doesn’t mean salad eaters should drench their greens in dressing! White indicates that consumers should be comfortable with the U.S. dietary recommendation of about two tablespoons of oil per day.

The research study showed eating the same salad without the added oil lessened the likelihood that the body would absorb the nutrients.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Zesty Whole Grain Salad

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked whole grain (brown rice, kamut, quinoa)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • ½ cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins)
  • 1 bunch kale or 10-ounce package spinach (about 6 cups), torn into bite-size pieces

Instructions:

  1. Cook whole grain according to package directions. Cool.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.
  3. Stir apples, nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain into dressing.
  4. Toss greens with other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • Substitute 2 cups of chopped fruit (strawberries, grapes, oranges) for the apples.
  • Do not give honey and nuts to infants under one year of age

Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories, 12g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium, 45g total carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 16g sugar, 5g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.

Summer Bounty Salad

SummerBountySaladServing Size: 1 Cup | Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 7 cups vegetables (chopped) (carrots, zucchini, radishes, green onions, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • 1 pepper (green, red, or yellow), sliced (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tomatoes (red, yellow, or mixed)
  • 2/3 cup light or fat free salad dressing

Instructions:

  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables. (Cut the carrots, zucchini, radishes, green onions, and pepper in slices. Make the broccoli and cauliflower into florets. Slice or chop tomatoes.)
  2. Combine all vegetables and salad dressing in a bowl, stirring to coat vegetables with dressing.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 1–3 hours to blend flavors. Store any leftovers in refrigerator and use within 3 days.

Nutrition information per serving: 60 calories, 2.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 10g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 2g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more recipes, information, and videos, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/.

Salad Dressing

saladServing Size: 1 tablespoon | Serves: 21

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oil (such as avocado oil)
  • 1/3 cup acid, such as red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients into an airtight container.
  2. Secure the lid and shake until the ingredients are combined.
  3. Salad dressing can be stored in the airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes:

The size of this recipe can be adjusted up or down by keeping the same ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part acid. For example, for a small amount of dressing, use 3 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of acid, and a pinch of each of the seasonings.

Watch How to Make Homemade Salad Dressing, youtu.be/WyHJexS6-j0

Nutrition information per serving: 100 calories, 11g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 110mg sodium, 0g total carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Source: This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website, www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/.

Anyday Picnic Salad

AnyDayPicnicSaladPhotoServing Size: 3/4 cup | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 apple (cored and diced)
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped (about 1 rib)
  • 1/3 cup light ranch dressing or creamy salad dressing
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine chicken, apple, and celery in a medium bowl. Add dressing and pepper and stir to coat. Stir in pecans or walnuts, if desired.
  2. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Serve on a lettuce leaf; spread on bread, tortillas, or a sandwich; or spoon into a halved tomato or cucumber.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories, 10g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 80mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 11g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 6g sugar, 25g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart website. For more recipes, information, and videos, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/.

Salad in a Bag

salad in a bagServes: Variable
(Serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients
• 1 cup salad greens per person (romaine, spinach, arugula, etc.)
• 1/2 cup vegetables per person such as: broccoli, black beans, shredded carrot, peas, cabbage, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes
• 1-2 tablespoons salad dressing per person

Directions
1. Use a one-gallon sized zip-lock bag for a family sized salad or a one-quart sized bag for individual salads.
2. Place 1 cup salad greens per person in the gallon bag or 1 cup in each quart bag.
3. For individual salads in quart bags, add 1/2 cup veggies to each bag. For a family sized salad in gallon bag, add 1/2 cup veggies
per person.
4. Add salad dressing.
5. Zip bag shut and shake to distribute the dressing over all the ingredients.

See more recipes at SpendSmart EatSmart: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/

Nutrient information per serving
160 calories, 10 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, 15 g total carbohydrate (6 g sugar), 5 g fiber,
4 g protein

Note: Recipe analyzed using romaine lettuce, black beans, carrots, peas, tomatoes, and French salad dressing.

GREEN—It’s the Color of the Season!

spring saladAfter a long winter, the first, fresh vegetables of spring taste wonderful, whether from your garden, a farmer’s market, food co-op, or local grocery store! Lettuce is plentiful, being a fairly easy vegetable to grow, but many kinds of leafy greens are available.

Many people make iceberg lettuce the base of a fresh salad, but spring and summer bring many more options! This summer, try something new like arugula, frisée, kale, or spinach. The different colors, flavors, and textures make an attractive salad and the fresh greens are loaded with nutrients.

Arugula: This leafy green offers a spicy, peppery flavor which gives a zesty “punch” when added raw to salads. Arugula is rich in phytonutrients, which may reduce the risk of several kinds of cancers, including breast, stomach and colon.

Frisée: This frilly, funky-looking green adds fun to a fresh salad! It contains many vitamins and minerals and is especially high in folate, and vitamins A and K. The feathery leaves also can give a touch of elegance to a fresh salad.

Kale: Kale is considered a “powerhouse of nutrition,” with beautiful leaves that provide an earthy flavor. It is an excellent source for vitamin K, and helps lower cholesterol.

Spinach: This dark green leafy vegetable is fairly mild in flavor overall. It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, being packed with vitamins (especially A and C) and minerals (especially iron).

Jazz up your fresh salad by adding:
• Fruits: Use fresh or dried berries, apples, and oranges. Fruit juice could be part of the dressing.
• Grains: Try adding cooked whole grain pastas, brown rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, or bulgur.
• Protein: Include proteins like nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, lean fish, and meats.
• Dressing: Keep it light in both calories and saturated fat, yet high in
flavor with small amounts of juices, spices, herbs, flavored oils, and flavored vinegars.

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