Looking for a creative way to get leafy green vegetables in your diet? Try our recipes for leafy green veggies..
Green is the word these days. Our lives are peppered with green-themed initiatives from environmental practices to personal lifestyles, and, literally, our diet. Green food is good—and good for us, especially the dark leafy green variety.
Beet greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, spinach, and mustard and turnip greens are the new nutritional darlings. Considering their low calorie content, leafy greens are a concentrated source of many vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Dark leafy greens fall under the umbrella of cruciferous vegetables and share similar health benefits. They’re linked to prevention of certain cancers (bladder, breast, lung, and prostate) and diabetes. They also protect heart health and play a significant role in the maintenance of good bone and eye health.
In order to reap these health benefits, make dark leafy greens part of your diet at least three times a week.
Flavour-wise, leafy greens’ complex flavours border on being dangerously bitter to our sweet-craving palate. Yet with the right treatment, the bitterness can be tamed and quite pleasing.
- Swiss Chard and Chèvre Roll-Ups
- Curried Collard Greens and Sweet Potato
- Penne with Double Beets
- Mustard Greens, Beans, and Potato Soup
- Stir-Fried Turnip Greens and Tofu
Alternative sources of calcium
These greens are rich in calcium—good sources for vegans and lactose-intolerant people who cannot eat calcium-rich dairy foods.
Buying and storing tips
Shopping for greens
- choose bunches with smooth, firm leaves
- look for leaves that are dark in colour without yellowing, bruising, or wilting
- look for small leaves—the smaller the leaf, the less bitter it will be
- use greens soon after purchasing—their pungent flavours increase with age
- store unwashed greens in damp towels in the crisper for up to 3 days
Cruciferous health heroes
These greens are some of the most nutritious vegetables. Always eat them with a fat source such as extra-virgin olive oil, butter, nuts, or cheese, as many of these nutrients are fat soluble.