We know they’re good for us, but if you’re just not a fan of green vegetables, know that you’re not alone. Antioxidant-packed foods like green veggies pack an intense and often acquired flavour, and in the case of greens like arugula, Brussels sprouts, kale and more, the taste is downright bitter.
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The good news is there are ways to transform your greens so they’re not only more palatable, but downright delicious.
Which greens should you try to eat more of? Some of the best green vegetables to add to your diet include:
- Bok Choy
- Collard greens
- Dark green lettuce
- Mustard greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Turnip greens
Be A Lean, Mean, Green-Eating Machine
According to Canada’s Food Guide, you should be aiming eating five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on your caloric intake. One serving is about half a cup.
A diet that is high in plant foods has plenty of health benefits, including reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers, as well as helping with blood pressure, gastrointestinal health and vision issues.
Green vegetables in particular have an impressive nutritional résumé. Famed nutritionist Joy Bauer lists the nutrition powerhouses that greens can be, including arugula for phytnutrients, collard greens for vitamin A, endives and watercress for vitamin K, kale and spinach for vitamin C, mustard greens for vitamin B, radicchio and turnip greens for vitamin E.
Now that you are convinced why you should eat more greens, here are five ways to rethink your greens.
Make A Green Smoothie
The latest trend in shakes and juices are green smoothies. While you might typically use fruit, protein powder or yogurt as your base, leafy greens can add sharpness to your typically sweet smoothies. Consider collard greens with mango, spinach with apple, kale and banana and more.
Enjoy A Greener Breakfast
If you’re a bacon-and-eggs fan or loyal for oatmeal, why not switch things up by adding some more veg into your first meal of the day? Try eating veggies at breakfast with a spinach omelette, zucchini pancakes or a veggie burrito.
Indulge In A Green Dessert
Fruit for dessert seems like a no-brainer. But a bowlful of greens is more of an appetizer or a digestif than a sweet finish to a meal. But according to The Huffington Post, veggies are invading the dessert menu, with options like basil gelato. But dessert doesn’t have to be that exotic or difficult. Pull out mom’s zucchini bread recipe, or try any one of these vegetable muffin recipes including these spinach-and-chocolate muffins (yes, really – they’re delicious). Yum!
Sneak ‘Em In
While Jessica Seinfeld (yes, the wife of Jerry Seinfeld) created her Deceptively Delicious cookbook for moms with picky kids, there’s no reason you can’t heed her advice for yourself. She recommends adding veggie purees to recipes, such as mac ‘n’ cheese and cake mixes. She also creates recipes that make vegetables not seem like “healthy” snacks, like these Brussels Sprouts Chips.
Add Fat (And Lots Of It!)
If you find that you push your greens to the side of your plate, consider adding healthy fats to your dish. Having healthy fats in your diet will help keep you feeling satisfied for a longer period of time, and are actually thought to be heart-healthy, and wonderful for weight management (plus, they taste amazing).
Be generous with your drizzling of extra virgin olive oil, or add some avocado with herbs and garlic for creamy texture and added flavour. Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, and organic butter or ghee are also excellent sources of healthy fats to add to your greens. Additionally, feel free to top your greens with nuts and seeds, grass-feed organic meats, free-range eggs, olives, wild salmon or organic raw milk cheese.