The Rabbits Are On To Something: Your Guide To Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens (Swiss Chard)

By Kristin Yancy

It’s time to face the facts. Like it or not, kale is here to stay. If vegetables can be trendy, then this slightly bitter, flower-like vegetable is your red-lipsticked, vintage-denim-wearing-queen-of-green. And this girl is no loner– she came with friends (collard greens and spinach, just to name a few)!  Getting green vegetables into your diet is a surefire way to stay Fly inside and out, and we’re embracing our green thumb this week by highlighting these 6 veggie winners– all at fewer than 30 calories per serving!

1.)   KALE

We’ve already said it, but there’s a reason everyone seems to have caught the kale-kraze: this vegetable is the green that keeps on giving! Eat it for Vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, folate, and potassium. Try it in salads, toss it with olive oil and whole grain pasta, or mix it into a stir-fry or casserole.

2.)   COLLARD GREENS

Those of us from the south are no stranger to this yummy, hearty green vegetable. Eat it for Vitamins A and K, folate, calcium, and iron. Try it with some garlic and onion, as a substitute for tortillas in wraps, stuffed into peppers, or baked with beans and chicken sausage.

3.)   TURNIP GREENS

This tender green is quick to cook! Eat it for Vitamins A, K and C, as well as calcium. Try it in salads and gumbos, or roast them in the oven with some olive oil and sea salt for a healthy chip! Bonus: Turnip greens are just the top of this root vegetable– you can eat the turnip too! Use it as a substitute for a potato, only with a lot more nutrients!

4.)   SWISS CHARD

If you’re a beet lover, you’ll probably enjoy this unique vegetable! Eat it for Vitamins A and C. Try it in sautés, mixed with raisins and a little vinegar, or serve it as a side with grilled steaks, chicken, or pan-seared fish.

5.)   SPINACH

We  owe Popeye a big thank you for teaching us to love this delicious all-purpose green veggie! Eat it for Vitamins A, C, and folate. Try it raw in salads or on sandwiches, or eat it cooked- steamed by itself, or mixed into pastas, egg dishes, and soups. Warning: spinach is notorious for shrinking in size when cooked, so don’t be surprised when that giant bag cooks down to a smaller serving size than you planned!

6.)   BROCCOLI

My inner child will forever love these crispy green “tiny trees.” Eat broccoli for Vitamins A, C, folate, and potassium. Try it steamed with a little olive oil, roasted with a little parmesan, or check out this awesome recipe for a broccoli based pasta sauce!

Thanks to WebMD for the leafy green facts, and thekitchn for their yummy broccoli recipe! Don’t forget the way you cook your veggies definitely affects their health value! Too much salt or fat will start to cancel out the good for you perks of eating green. As always, talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet, and be aware that too much Vitamin K is bad news for people on blood thinners. 

Photo via Rustic Garden Bistro.
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