Green leafy vegetables are among the best foods on the planet and the closest to universal miracle foods.
Want to lose weight? Eat more green leafy vegetables.
Want to have more energy? Eat more green leafy vegetables.
Want to have a healthy baby? Eat more green leafy vegetables.
Want mental clarity? Eat more green leafy vegetables.
Want to live to 100? Have good luck and eat more green leafy vegetables.
Yet despite knowing how great green leafy vegetables are, most of us struggle to eat them with any frequency. Here are a few tips to get ahead of the green leafy vegetable curve.
1. Toss them in a smoothie.
Hardcore “green smoothies” are probably too, well, hardcore for most people. But even vegetable haters can easily toss a handful of spinach or romaine into a frozen mixture of bananas and berries and enjoy the drink without noticing the added health benefit of the hidden greens. Green leafy vegetables can be added to just about any smoothie, but work especially well when masked by chocolate, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries. You can gradually add more greens as you adjust to enjoy maximal health benefits.
2. Replace your potato chips with green chips!
If you have not yet tried kale chips you’re missing out. It is as simple as tearing up kale or collard greens, tossing them in salt, oil and lemon juice and cooking at 300 degrees for 25 minutes on a baking sheet.
Experiment with the flavors of honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes as you like. Just make sure to give kale chips a try!
3. Wilt them!
A plateful of raw green leafy vegetables can be daunting to all but the most devoted of vegetable lovers. But when wilted, green leafy vegetables still provide most of their nutritious goodness in a more manageable form.
Add raw green leafy vegetables to your hot pasta after it is drained or your steaming rice. Arugula and spinach will quickly wilt and add both color and flavor without overwhelming your plate. Mustard and dandelion greens are also great for added zip, and do not forget your usual herbs and spices to keep things interesting!
4. Make soup!
The amount of greens appropriate for soup varies greatly depending upon the type of soup, but just about any soup can easily be made more nutritious by adding green leafy vegetables. Kale and spinach are wonderful in Italian soups, mustard greens add zing to otherwise boring bean broths and soups, and swiss chard can be enjoyed in a vegan borscht.
5. Re-examine your seasonings.
You know that nice bunch of parsley? The one right next to the dill and mint? It too is a green leafy vegetable!
I do not recommend chowing down on a handful of basil or oregano, but I do recommend adding them to your cooking with abandon. Not only will you enjoy more flavorful food, you will also be benefiting from the added nutrients of often-overlooked green leafy vegetables. Two teaspoons of thyme will give you 60% of the vitamin K your body needs for the day, along with 20% of your iron, all for a mere 7 calories! Two tablespoons of parsley will give you 150% the daily value in vitamin K, along with 15% vitamin C and 10% A!
Green leafy vegetables may be both green and, well, leafy, but they are not really that difficult to incorporate into one’s diet. So get to it!