So we all likely know the about amazing nutritional benefits of leafy greens. In addition to their rich vitamin and mineral content, which boasts calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, beta carotene (vitamin A), folate and fiber, leafy greens are also well known for containing carotenoids. These are some serious super-powerful antioxidants that include lutein and zeaxanthin.
But how many times have you bought those greens only to have them turn brown in the bottom of your veggie crisp drawer?
To avoid this all-too-common mishap, here’s the plan!
- Get your greens bagged and triple washed
- Toss them into anything and everything you can think of!
The beauty of cooking with greens is that they can be paired with so many dishes. One of their best qualities is that they cook SO quickly, adding a nice convenience factor. Here are some menu ideas to get you started:
- Salads: Ditch the iceberg and perk up your salad with a dark green mix of Romaine, spinach, arugula, red leaf or radicchio
- Burgers: Chop greens and add them to ground grass-fed beef or organic chicken or turkey
- Wraps: Use blanched collards or large leaves of Butter lettuce or Romaine as a wrap instead of bread
- Soups: Chop up kale, Swiss chard or mustard greens and toss right into your favorite soup
- Stir-fries: Add chopped leafy greens to your next stir-fry
- Sautés: Gently sautéed collards, kale, Swiss chard or spinach are delicious when sautéed in olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil or ghee.
- Quinoa: Lightly steam or sauté and add to your latest quinoa pilaf
To boot, eating an abundance of these nutrient-packed veggies can play a role in:
- Helping to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration – common causes of blindness in older people
- Maintaining bone health
- Regulating blood pressure
- Protecting brain cells and helping to prevent dementia
- Lowering your risk for type 2 diabetes
- Preventing some kinds of cancer
- Decreasing your risk of heart disease
Most greens can be found in supermarkets year-round, but freshness and quality can vary greatly. Look for crisp stalks with shiny, unblemished leaves. Peak season in most areas is from June through October, where you can look for them at local farm stands.
1 large bunch of Swiss chard (or other greens)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
¼ cup raisins
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Juice of ½ lemon (optional)
Chop chard into 2” pieces and steam until tender. Meanwhile, heat oil and add raisins and walnuts. Sauté until nuts are slightly toasted, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and greens and sauté another couple minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.
Enjoy! Tell us, how do YOU love your greens?