When momma said, “Eat your vegetables,” she was spouting more wisdom than you realized. One of the best reasons to eat your greens is weight loss and control. Leafy greens will also keep you young and clear by repairing your skin and preventing acne. Vegetables with high levels of carotenoids actually improve skin color and radiance making you more beautiful to the naked eye. The high folate levels in greens actually make you smarter by protecting your brain from cognitive and verbal degeneration. And of course momma’s main concern, your health! Greens are packed with Vitamins A, B, C, E, folate, calcium, copper, magnesium potassium, zinc, and fiber. All of this will keep your heart strong and your body fit!
So why as adults do we still fight the idea of making a pile of greens the center of our plates? They have negligible amounts of calories, you can eat as much as you want with no downside, they are inexpensive to buy and they make you smart, beautiful and fit. Could it be that we still remember that awful taste of momma’s canned spinach sitting in a warm, sludgy pile at dinner? Or perhaps being forced to eat an iceberg salad before every supper made us resent the idea. Well here are five very easy and tasty greens to add to your table without all those pesky childhood memories.
1. One of the easiest to find greens and the least likely to have made an appearance at dinner over a decade ago would be kale. This very popular superfood is at the top of the leafy green food chain. You can pick it up at nearly any grocery store, buy it prewashed in a bag and dump a handful into a green smoothie. Done! For a warm addition to dinner, sauté garlic in olive oil until it begins to change color, add in raw, washed kale and cover with a lid for 5 to 7 minutes. When it’s bright green, it’s ready.
2. Red Leaf, Green Leaf and Romaine lettuce are all great sources of vitamins and minerals. The darker the lettuce, the healthier it is. So grab a crunchy or softer lettuce from your supermarket and start building a dinner salad that creates a meal and not a starter!
3. Some of you may remember Swiss Chard, but you probably haven’t eaten it as a faux-gluttonous snack. Take three or four of the large chard leaves and toss them with olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder and a hint of cayenne. Place them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are crispy. These chips will pack a Vitamin-K punch!
4. Those of us who rebelled against spinach and mustard greens need to take a second look at these nutrient dense leafy greens. Sure in a wilted, wet puddle they tend to scare picky taste buds, but these greens have a hearty texture to them and taste delicious when added to soups and pots of beans. If you feel inspired, cook up a large pot of vegan Zuppa Toscana with extra spinach. You can’t go wrong.
5. With all this information, if you are still unsure if you can eat up your greens consider micro-greens. These are the tender sprouts of plants such as arugula, chard, mustard greens and any other salad type green. They are proven to have up to 6 times more vitamins than their fully mature version. Their flavor is much more intense, so use them as a spice for soups, roasted veggies or fresh salads.
If you just cannot bear the thought of your kitchen becoming that of your mom, then let Veestro do it for you. We offer many vegan options that will give you a fresh perspective on cruciferous greens. Take a look at our Kale and Quinoa salad or our Hearty Vegetable Bean soup. Begin to enjoy your greens.