Posted on: August 10, 2011
You’ve been warned about crouton-laden salads that sneak in more calories than a Bloomin’ Onion. But just because you’ve shunned bacon crumbles and tortilla strips doesn’t mean your salads have to be boring. Adorn your greens with any of these four tasty toppings. Heck, throw them all in the mix; each weighs in at less than 100 calories.
Hearts of palm
Plucked from growing palm tree buds, hearts of palm are known for their subtle taste and crunchy texture. One cup of hearts of palm contains just 41 calories, 14 percent of your daily intake of fiber, and 25 percent of your daily intake of iron. Just be sure not to overload on this exotic tropical veggie; hearts of palm are teeming with salt.
The best summer salads have a hint of sweetness, so why not toss in a handful of delicious, ripe strawberries? One cup of halved berries has between 45 and 50 calories and more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. For perspective, a cup of Craisins—another popular fruity salad ingredient—can add up to a whopping 400 calories.
If you’re craving a bit of crunch, prepare to fall in love with Just Peas. One ounce of these crispy organic peas has a mere 100 calories while fulfilling 20 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. Just Peas is naturally gluten, dairy, wheat and nut-free, and is void of additives, preservatives and sweeteners. In other words (you guessed it), they’re just peas!
As registered dietitian and Zeel Expert Laura Cipullo explains, an ideal serving size of almonds is just 6 to 8 of these bite-sized nuts. To get more bang for your bite, switch to sliced almonds. Two tablespoons of raw almond slices has 55 calories and a serious serving of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. You can also try roasting the slivers beforehand (using zero-calorie PAM) for an even tastier topping.