Let’s be real, not everyone’s thrilled about chomping down on fruits and veggies. Carrots, broccoli, or apples might be your jam, but there’s always someone who’s not sold on them. In places where fresh produce might seem like a luxury or simply not a household favourite, these gifts from Mother Earth often get the cold shoulder or devoured begrudgingly. And more often than not, they end up in salads. So, are you mates with salads or not?

Personally, meat’s my go-to for protein. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about my greens! But truth be told, I lean towards meat because it suits my body better. Different strokes for different folks, eh? But looking at the bigger picture, veggies and fruits are crucial for our bodies. They’re packed with the nutrients we need. And salads are one way to get them in. There’s a heap of salad varieties out there, ready-made or homemade, reflecting each country’s taste. Take the Caesar salad, for instance, which hails from Tijuana, Mexico (yep, not Italy, surprising right?). Then there’s the Greek salad, Som Tam from Thailand, Coleslaw from the Dutch, Caprese salad from Italy, and a whole heap more!

Knowing they’re healthy and nutritious, many folks, especially those living the healthy lifestyle, make a point to include salads in their daily, weekly, or monthly meals. It’s easy to warm up to salads with so many options. They can be savoury or sweet, a whole meal or just a side, vegan-friendly, lactose-intolerant-friendly, or even cater to food allergies. You can whip one up to your taste or dietary needs.

So, why wouldn’t you want to be mates with salads? Even though they’re healthy, nutritious, and downright delicious? Like me, some folks need a different diet. Sure, they eat their veggies and fruits, but they might prefer them in other forms like frittatas, on toast, in stews, sandwiches, you name it. Some folks find salads don’t quite hit the spot. Plus, in some places, access to a variety of veggies is limited. And let’s not forget the dressing dilemma – there’s a world of difference between dressings!

Nevertheless, whether you’re all in on salads or not, they’re a top choice for getting your veggie and fruit fix. They’re easy-peasy to make and incredibly versatile. As long as you’re keeping a balanced diet and lifestyle, whether you’re best buds with salads or not isn’t the main deal. What matters is taking care of your body and meeting its needs to perform at its best.

Oh, and if you’re after some top-notch salad ingredients, check out my mates’ small businesses. Think eggs from Runnymede, granolas from Loving Pantry, chocolates from the Cheeky Project (try the chocolate vinaigrette!), bakery treats from Primal Alternative by Rosie (for healthy croutons), and olive oil from Regan’s Ridge (they’ve got flavoured olives too!). Get there here  – Giving Local: The Online Farmers Market.