Our big message re healthy eating is EAT MORE VEG and one way to do this is to add a salad with every meal. It is also easy to grow salad leaves so we can even eat for free, and if we are encouraging children to eat healthily and they don’t like their main meal they can munch away on salad.
We can grow lots of different salads quite easily. Some seeds to look out for are chard, rocket, mizuna, kale, nasturtium, sorrel, watercress, land cress, spinach, beetroot ( the leaves make great salad), crunchy lettuce, callaloo, wild garlic.
Sometimes we can add in a few petals from edible flowers such as marigolds, nasturtium, lovage, and chives.
If you don’t have any outside space to grow you can grow microgreens in a jam jar. Just soak some seeds in water in a jar for a few hours and then rinse every day for a few days. After a week they will be ready to eat. To make the rinsing easy put a small piece of gauze or fabric over the top of the jar and strain the water through that. Rinse well twice a day for best results. Seeds that work well include cress, mung beans and alfalfa.
Salads can also be grown in containers. Pick the outer leaves a few at a time. Salad leaves lose a lot of their vitamin C (more than 50%) within a few hours of being cut, so home-grown leaves will be much better for you than the bags of salad sold in the supermarket. Even if you only have a few add them to your sandwich.
Experiment with different salad recipes. For example grate carrot and cabbage to add to your lettuce and tomato, or make a simple coleslaw with much less fat than shop-bought. Make a bowl of couscous salad and have it available to add to meals during the week. Add small chopped veg and home grown herbs for a tasty salad. Add a small amount of feta cheese for a complete meal on its own.