London DIY Salad Bars Part 1: Vital Ingredient

vital logo

On a grey, rainy and miserable London day, it’s almost too easy to give in to comfort food (looking at you pizza)…which is why today I decided to brighten up my greys with some greens. Insert: Vital Ingredient – one of London’s most popular DIY salad bars.

Vital Ingredient was established in 2001 by a guy called Alex Heynes, who got inspired by NYC’s DIY salad bars and recognized a white space opportunity for such venture in London. For some reason, London has always been a bit late to the whole American health craze; drinking a green juice 5 years ago was “weird”, but now Britons like to not only drink their greens, but also eat them.

There are 17 branches of Vital Ingredient scattered around London town, although mostly in central London (more info on locations here). The principle is quite simple: work up an appetite, walk to your closest Vital, pick your base (egg pasta doesn’t count, sorry):

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…smile at the friendly staff 🙂

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…and start piling on your toppings:

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Et voila! A beautiful creation ready to be devoured under the (sun?) grey London skies:

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There s a ton of different options to suit every taste: 8 salad bases from spiralised veg to quinoa, 13 salad dressings, numerous protein options and yummy veggies. If you can’t make up your mind, they also have a selection of their Signature Salads -my personal favorite is Super Cob 🙂

Nutrition wise, you can make it as healthy or naughty as you wish (looking at you again egg pasta). My salad today had a mixed leaf base, prawns, egg, new potatoes, spicy avocado, petit pois, tossed in extra virgin olive oil. Nutrition info below:

nutri infooo vital

Not too bad. Plenty of wiggle space for some afternoon chocolate 🙂

Overall Vital Ingredient rating:

Yummy in my tummy: 5/5

Beach body friendly: 5/5

£ Once a day or week £:  Once a day (is twice too much?)

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