Chicago offers an abundance of healthy and fresh salad choices. This city is known for exploring diverse culinary options that would make everyone start a healthy life. 

Now that it’s the month of July, an array of vibrant greens and veggies might bring this salad scene toward a healthy diet that will work for you. 

Today, we want to highlight the availability of nutritious salads in Chicago this July. We have also added seasonal ingredients that can make flavorful and refreshing creations for you. 

Chicago's Culinary Scene

Chicago has long been a culinary destination, captivating food enthusiasts worldwide.

From farm-to-table restaurants to bustling farmers’ markets, Chicago is set apart because of its emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. Chicagoans take pride in supporting local farmers and sustainable food practices.

Seasonal cooking is also a hallmark of Chicago’s culinary scene, with July greens taking center stage. The popularity of July greens attributes to their freshness and nutritional benefits. 

Whether it’s the iconic deep-dish salad with its Chicago-style toppings and dressings, or a Chicago-themed produce platter, Chicagoans know how to make the most of July greens in their culinary creations.

Seasonal Salad Ingredients in July

One of the critical advantages of Chicago is the heightened flavor and freshness of locally sourced greens and veggies in July. Below are some vegetables in Chicago that you want to take advantage of. 

1. Kale

A popular choice in July salads, this nutritional powerhouse has vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and antioxidants. If you’re craving a hearty and earthy flavor to your salads, this is just it. 

2. Spinach

Rich in iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C, spinach adds a fresh and slightly sweet taste to salads. It can be used as a base or mixed with other greens. 

3. Arugula

This unique twist to July salads adds a peppery and slightly bitter flavor profile.  A great vitamin K and folate source, it can lend a vibrant and refreshing element that makes your salads more flavorful. 

4. Tomatoes

From juicy heirloom varieties to cherry tomatoes, they always take center stage in Chicago’s salad scene. These veggies add a refreshing element to brighten up any dish. 

5. Corn

Corns provide dietary fiber, vitamins B and C, and essential minerals, adding a satisfying crunch and sweetness to July salads. It is a bursting addition to any salad bowl.

6. Cucumbers

Crisp and refreshing cucumbers provide a delightful crunch and a mild, slightly sweet taste. It contributes to overall digestive health.

Chicago's Salad-centric Restaurants

Many restaurants and cafés are known for their healthy and innovative salad options. Let’s explore three establishments in the city’s salad scene.

1. Salad House Lakeview

Their menu features vibrant salads from the local fresh ingredients, signature creations, and build-your-own salads like the “Lakeview Glow.” It has mixed greens, grilled chicken, avocado, strawberries, and a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. 

2. Beatrix Rivernorth

With its three locations in Chicago, Beatrix offers an eclectic menu like “Straight ‘A’ Salad.” It combines avocado, arugula, Asian pear, almonds, and Asiago cheese, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

3. True Food Kitchen Chicago

Located in River North, this restaurant focuses on delicious options inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. Local chefs prioritize flavor with one of their best sellers, “The Kale Cobb salad.”

Tips on Creating Healthy Creations at Home

We understand that not all the time you’ll be able to try nutritious salads in Chicago this July. So here are some tips for creating a satisfying salad. 

1. Start with a Nutrient-Rich Base

Get a lot of leafy greens as the foundation of your salad. Like the seasonal salad ingredients mentioned earlier, all these greens come with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

2. Include a Protein Source

Adding grilled chicken, boiled eggs, tofu, beans, lentils, chickpeas, or quinoa will be a great addition to your salad. Protein helps keep you feeling satisfied and supports muscle recovery.

3. Experiment with Flavorful Dressings

Avoid store-bought dressings high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives. There are a few homemade dressing ingredients that you can use for your salads, such as:

  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, or red wine vinegar)
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Herbs and spices

4. Enhance with Alternative Toppings

There are a few toppings to enhance flavor and texture. Consider options like: 

  • Crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Dried fruits
  • Sliced olives
  • Roasted nuts
  • Crispy chickpeas
  • A few sprinkles of nutritional yeast

5. Embrace Seasonality and Locally Sourced Produce

Support local farmers and promote sustainability using seasonal and locally sourced produce in homemade salads. Visit Fresh Farms or join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program for fresh and organic options.

Benefits of Chicago Produce in Your Salads

If you’re lucky enough to be in Chicago, you have access to a wide array of locally grown produce that can elevate your salads to a new level. Below are some of the benefits of using Chicago produce in your salads:

1. Freshness

One of the primary advantages of Chicago produce is its freshness. You can be certain that the harvesting of greens and vegetables in Chicago is just hours before they reach your plate.

2. Superior Flavor

Chicago’s rich soil and favorable climate lend themselves to cultivating robust and flavorful produce. The taste of Chicago-grown ingredients can enhance the overall flavor profile of your salads. 

3. Nutritional Value

By incorporating Chicago-grown greens and vegetables into your salads, you’re maximizing the nutritional value of your meal. They have essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit your health. 

4. Sustainable Practices

Many Chicago farmers prioritize organic or regenerative agriculture. By opting for Chicago produce, you’re positively impacting your health and the planet.

5. Community Support

When you purchase Chicago-grown, produce, you’re benefiting yourself and supporting local farmers and the community. It’s a win-win situation.

In A Nutshell

This July, the scene of nutritious salads in Chicago is a testament to its diversity and vibrancy. With various healthy and fresh options throughout the city, Chicagoans have plenty of choices to explore and enjoy.

As readers, we encourage you to embrace this salad adventure and indulge in Chicago’s nutritious and flavorful offerings. 

Whether dining out at the city’s top restaurants or getting creative with homemade salads, let your taste buds guide you through a healthy culinary journey. 

Visit us and dive into Chicago’s salad scene. Fresh Farms Market helps you explore the local flavors and savor July’s nutritious delights.