Vegan Burrito Bowl photographed from a three-quarter angel with scattered lime and cilantro visible
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How to Transition Your Salads from Summer to Winter

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This week’s post is a bit more of a practical one: How to transition your salads from summer to winter. Let me explain. Salads are usually associated with summer and “lighter” meals in order for your tummy not to feel too heavy when it is hot outside. So most people tend to give up salads about this time of the year and pick it up when it gets warmer again in March / April.

Well, I am here to tell you – you do not have to do that! Salads can be a really easy addition to any meal, are super versatile, and pack in a lot of nutrients. I eat salads all year long. But I also do not want to pick up something that feels “cold” on my digestive tract, especially when it is cold outside. So, how do we “warm” up those salads, make them utterly delicious, and still enjoy them as a nutritious meal?

How to Transition Your Salads from Summer to Winter

Below are my top tips to continue to enjoy your salads, even when the months get colder 🤗.

Roasted Brussel sprouts in a pan baking dish
Best Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Add Root Vegetables 

The minute colder weather hits, we tend to crave more grounding foods. And those foods are, for example, root vegetables. So take a tray and roast some potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnip, beetroots, or turnips and then add them to your salad. You could also go a bit “cruciferous” and add some roasted Brussel sprouts or small cauliflower florets if you like.  It does not only provide some great depths of flavor, but it also provides you with that sort of warming feeling that we look for this time of the year. 

Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash photographed up close
Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

Use Warming Spices 

Whether you are roasting root veggies, perhaps trying my (one of my absolute favorite dishes btw) Baked Spiced Pumpkin, or adding some chickpea croutons (for example from my Creamy Kale Salad), warming spices this time of the year are everything. Have a play with cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves, coriander, cayenne, garlic, and cinnamon. They will not only make the additions to your salad taste super delicious but also provide that comfort and nourishment (that clearly I keep referring back to here… 🤣🙈🤪).

Halved avocados with lime, tomatoes, tortillas, and cilantro scattered around
My Dear Friend’s Best Guacamole

Add Avocado 

This may be something you are also doing in the summertime, but avocado provides some really great creaminess to a salad and again it can provide you with that warming, more hearty feeling.

Creamy Kale salad in a bowl with salad tongs
Creamy Kale Salad

Use Darker Greens. 

A really good green to use during the winter months is kale. Unfortunately in Germany, you cannot get kale year-round (there is only a tiny window here). But if you do have access to kale, you could lightly sautee it and thereby add a bit of a different texture, flavor, and crunch to your salad. Kale is also awesome because it stays crunchy and does not wilt easily and actually even tastes better the next day. When using raw kale, be sure to massage it a bit so that it is not only easier to eat, but also kinder on your digestive tract. 

Tuscan-Style Bread and Tomato Salad (Panzanella) on a wooden board with salad tongs stuck into them
Tuscan-Style Bread and Tomato Salad (Panzanella)

Change Up Your Dressing

This time of the year, my dressings immediately become a bit fierier. My favorite is fresh garlic (great for your immunity) mixed with nut or seed butter, a little bit of tamari, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup. Totally transforms your salad and I promise any cold salad feelings are gone. You can also add a bit from my next tip… 

Fig and Arugula Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella on a plate photographed up close
Fig and Arugula Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella

Add Seasonal or Dried Fruit

This is something I do not do often enough but fruit and dried fruit can add an unexpected sweetness that works really well with some of the more pungent, bitter, and salty flavors we have mentioned above. Whether it is citrus fruit (could also use the juice as part of the dressing 😉), dried apricots or dates, cranberries, or soured cherries – I mean the options are endless here. If you have never tried it – give it a go. You will be surprised at what a new element of flavor this tip can add to your salad game! 

And there you have it for this week!! I hope this post has provided you with a bit of inspiration as to how you can transition your salads from summer to winter time whilst still enjoying them as part of your delicious lifestyle 😉. What is your favorite way to “spice” up your salad? Let me know in the comments below – I love hearing from you!!

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