You likely already know that greens are good for you (kale, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, cabbage, etc). They help with things like, heart health, sexual function, diabetes, breast cancer, glaucoma and even depression. But, if you can’t get them in your belly, they are useless. We eat them raw in salad most often. But I know that doesn’t work for a lot of people. So, I started asking people how they eat their greens. Here’s what I learned:
Use it in place of tortillas to make a wrap. Okay, this is still raw so if you don’t like dark green salads, this isn’t a great option. But you could do it with lettuce to get in some greens where there aren’t any.
Put it in a wrap or on a sandwich. You can do this with either raw or cooked greens and the flavor will just melt away into the other flavors.
Cook it in bean taco/burrito mix. When I make tacos I usually sauté (without oil) onions, peppers mushrooms and garlic before I add beans and taco seasoning. Add greens to the veggies and put the lid on it to let them steam in the juices. With the seasoning you’ll likely not even taste the greens are there.
Add it to pasta sauce and chili. You can do this if you’re using store-bought or making your own. Just throw a few handfuls in and let it cook down. The acid from the tomatoes will eliminate any bitterness in the greens.
Put it in soups, stews and even Shepard’s pie. If you are making anything that requires putting veggies together and cooking them, add greens. It ups the nutrient value and you won’t even notice them.
Put it in smoothies. We don’t recommend drinking your calories in general because chewing food is part of the digestion process and allows are brains to realize we are full. But, if you’re making a smoothie, throw some greens in and blend away.
Sauté/stir-fry it (in water or veggie broth). Use your favorite flavor. Soy sauce, balsamic vinegar or tahini are good options. The Asian dressing recipe I sent a couple of weeks ago is also really good on greens.
Steam it. Add whatever spices or other veggies you like. Pepper, nutmeg, ginger, apple cider vinegar, rosemary, dill… Try whatever strikes your fancy. We like onions, garlic and mushrooms with ginger.
Add it to hummus and guacamole. If you saw my hummus video you know I put a good bit of parsley in my hummus (yes parsley counts as a green). You can do this with ALL the other greens as well. Spinach will make guacamole a beautiful bright green. Give it a shot. Add some greens to your next batch. Next time add a little more.
Massage it. Yes, this is really a thing. Add a pinch of salt and break down the fibers in the greens (often done with kale). If you feel like you need more liquid, a squeeze of lemon works well and adds great flavor. We’ve never done it but there are lots of people who swear it makes greens less bitter (we don’t think they are bitter to begin with). I’m not sure if it’s the massaging or the salt, but if that will get you to eat more greens, massage away.
There it is. Ten ways to add greens to your diet. Now go out and get yourself some chlorophyll! (That’s the stuff that makes plants green ????)
Do you have a way you like greens that I didn’t mention? Send it to me (include a recipe if you have one)! Health@RnRJourney.com
If you are ready to address how your food choices are negatively affecting your health, let’s set up a free get-to-know-you chat. Send me an email and let’s get you on track to taking control of your stress eating. Health@RnRJourney.com
Dr Robyn is a former competitive volleyball player turned psychologist with continuing education in nutrition. Russ is a former competitive bodybuilder and trainer on the Mr. Olympia Tour. They are the co-founders of Whole Food Muscle and the authors of How to Feed a Human The Whole Food Muscle Way. To work with them one on one to improve your health and fitness or to have them speak at your event or organization email them at Health@RnRJourney.com.