You may already know that leafy greens are a powerhouse of health protecting goodness. They are so incredibly rich in nutrients and particularly helpful to enjoy at this time of year when colds, the flu and other nasty things are lingering around. Leafy greens are a must addition to your week.
If you’re not a huge fan.. I hope I can get you excited about them!
So why are they so good?
– Very high in vitamin C and other antioxidants (which help to strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy and fighting fit)
– A very good source of folate (folate is a B vitamin that is particularly important for women who are planning pregnancy or are pregnant.. if this is you, regularly including leafy greens will help protect you and your baby)
– A good plant source of iron (for this reason leafy greens are a must have for vegetarians and vegans)
– Contain fibre (which is important for healthy digestion and is also protective against bowel cancer)
– Are versatile (which makes them easy to use in all sorts of ways)
– Are very accessible (you can usually find various leafy greens at your local supermarket, grocery store or produce market)
Here are some easy and delicious ways to include them (if you don’t already of course)
– Add to salads: Keep a bag of baby spinach in your fridge each week, and add a handful to salads, sandwiches, wraps
– Make a green Smoothie: Add a good cupful of baby spinach to fruit smoothies (A green smoothie is such an easy way of getting more greens)
– Add to dips: Add baby spinach leaves to dips such as hummus (just add a handful when making dip)
– Use frozen spinach: Keep a box of frozen spinach in the freezer (nutritious, cheap and super convenient – add to pasta sauces, soups, lasagne, pasta bakes or defrost and add to homemade dips eg. spinach and yoghurt dip)
– Add to cooked meals: Add big fresh spinach leaves to soups, stews, pasta sauce, curries, lasagne, pasta bakes, quiches, omelettes.
– Sauté a little garlic in coconut oil and on low heat add silverbeet leaves, a little water, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, pine nuts and cranberries – this is a beautiful fresh side dish.
– Add to cooked meals: Chopped silver beet is easy to add to soups, stews, pasta sauce, curries, lasagne, pasta bakes
– Eat raw: Fresh, washed, chopped and raw – kale is a great addition to hearty salads – try mixing raw chopped kale with roasted vegetables (eg. pumpkin, carrots), a grain (eg. cooked quinoa), nuts (eg. walnuts or roasted almonds), pomegranate seeds or thinly sliced orange, fresh lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper, and drizzle with a tahini style dressing. Or, try thinly sliced raw kale with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and topped with a little shaved pecorino. Or, try mixing raw kale with sliced grapes, peaches or berries, a little cheese (eg. goat feta) walnuts, seeds, lemon and olive oil
– Sauté: Chop into smaller pieces try frying on low heat in a little coconut oil or olive oil, season with salt and pepper, a little lemon juice and serve as a side dish topped with roasted slithered almonds. You can also add soy sauce and chilli for flavour.
– Make pesto: Kale blends will in a food processor when mixed with herbs, oil and walnuts or pine nuts
– Add to cooked meals: quiches, lasagne, soups, stews, pasta dishes and pasta sauces
– Use raw kale leaves as a burrito shell: Try it! Fresh raw kale works well as a fresh crunchy shell.. something different
– Add raw kale leaves to your burger: Whether a meat or veggie style burger, fresh kale works well!
– Add to a slaw: very finely chopped kale can be mixed with other finely chopped/grate vegetables such as celery, cabbage, carrot and with a nice vinaigrette dressing or light yoghurt dressing this is a nice slaw serve as a side salad or add to baked potatoes, wraps, tacos
– Make kale chips: If you haven’t already this is worth trying, they are surprisingly yum. Very light but a nice pre dinner snack to make sometimes. Toss raw chopped kale through a little oil, salt and pepper, then bake in oven until crispy.
If you already enjoy lots of leafy greens.. what’s your favourite way of eating them? I’d love to hear. xx