When you hear leafy green vegetables mentioned what is the first thing you think of? Sad, limp steamed spinach? Bland broccoli? That thing that was on your plate as a kid that you either choked down to get it over with or pushed around your plate hoping that it would look like you ate some?
The truth is, many of us are not big fans of leafy greens and all of us need to eat more of them. Leafy green vegetables are amazing for our health and well-being. They give us energy, boost our immune systems, provide respiratory support when we have a cold, help to clean our blood, and improve our circulation. And they can also be delicious.
So now that we have reached the time of year when farmer’s markets, CSAs, and grocery stores are overflowing with green leafy goodness, how can we make it more appealing than those sad memories from when we were kids (or last week)?
Here are some ways to get more greens in that are fun, flavorful, and easy:
- Pesto! Almost any leafy green can be made into pesto- kale, carrot tops, arugula, and broccoli are some of my favorites. Then use it as a spread, in pasta, or on homemade pizza.
- Smoothies. If you are one to run screaming from a little green, try throwing some in a smoothie. The fruits will mask the flavor (I promise!) and you’ll end up with a sweet, healthy treat.
- Sautéed with spice. Make it interesting by spicing it up. One of our favorite combos is olive oil with a dash of cayenne, sauté onions or shallots until translucent, throw in greens until they turn bright, add some vinegar (rice or apple cider are great) and a little honey or maple syrup. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Kale chips. Can also be done with chard.
- In soups and stews. Minestrones are great, but also pureed vegetable soups are an awesome place to sneak in some green.
- Flavorful salads. Add a variety of veggies, throw in some cheese or other protein, toss in some nuts or dried fruit, punch up of the flavor in whatever way you like best, but make sure it is fun and interesting.
What are your favorite ways to get your green on?