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Perfect Spring salads

Perfect Spring salads

We've had our first glimpses of spring sunshine. Winter is definitely on its way out, even if summer is still some way off. Our diet should reflect this change of seasons, making the most of fresher, lighter ingredients.

Here are our top tips for creating the perfect spring salad:

Choose your ingredients wisely

The secret to a good spring salad is to find the right balance. You need something that's fresh but substantial. The heavy root vegetables of winter can be overpowering but the delicate baby leaves of early summer will be too insubstantial to keep you going at this time of year.

Try grating raw carrot, beetroot and apple. The tender leaves of spring cabbage are so sweet and crisp that you can eat them raw. Baby spinach leaves make a more substantial alternative to lettuce, whilst watercress and rocket pack a punch in terms of flavour. Avocado and olives are great sources of healthy fats.

Pack in some protein

Pure vegetable salads have their place as side dishes and light snacks. But if you want a salad to make up a meal, you need to pack in some protein. Fish or meat are great – think smoked mackerel or grilled chicken or steak. There are plenty of good vegetarian options too, including cubed hard cheeses, nuts and seeds, and firm smoked tofu.

Dress for the occasion

The crowning glory of a salad is the dressing you pour over it. You can't go far wrong with the classic combination of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Honey and mustard is another popular option, as is sweet chilli. If you're feeling more adventurous, why not experiment with different oils like avocado, walnut, or the many different kinds of herb-infused olive oils now available at most supermarkets?

Salads are anything but boring – they're a great way of eating healthily and in tune with seasons.

What better way to set yourself up for a good workout?