In honor of St. Patrick’s day, I thought I would talk green. I remember drinking a little too much green beer in college! But I’m not talking about artificially-colored beverages here… I am talking leafy greens!
Leafy greens are an essential part of a healthy diet. I would say they are THE main staple in my diet. Why? Leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses, full of essential nutrients. They are also alkalizing and anti-inflammatory. So whether you like romaine, spinach, kale, spring greens, collard greens, swiss chard, or one of many others, it’s a good idea to add more to your daily routine! And if you don’t like leafy greens or have picky kids, you can ‘hide’ them too.
I suggest switching up your greens, because too much of anything (even spinach) is not a good thing. You will get different nutrients from different greens too.
How can you sneak in more greens without eating the same old salad for every meal? Here are my top 5 ways to increase the amount of greens your family eats!
- Green Smoothie or juice – my fav. Drink at least one a day. I’m a smoothie girl. I pack a good 2-3 handfuls of mixed greens in my breakfast smoothie every day. Disclaimer – I have a Vitamix… I can’t speak to the results when using a less-powerful blender. If you are using a shaker cup or simple blender, there are some high-quality greens powders without junky additives on the market. But they can be pricey.
- Making a Sandwich or Wrap? Load up the greens! They will help fill you up! You can even top your pizza with some green!
- Stir into Soups, Rice, Quinoa and Pasta dishes. It’s such an easy way to amp up the nutrition without completely altering the flavor of the dish. Just add with care – hardy greens like kale and collards can be added earlier to break down for easier chewing, but spinach should go in just before serving so it doesn’t wilt down to nothing!
- Kale chips. Who hasn’t tried these yet? So good, so easy. Make your greens into snacks!
- Re-think the Salad. It’s the standard, but it doesn’t have to mean boring old iceberg lettuce with croutons. Massaged raw kale salads with avocado, roasted vegetables over arugula, sautéed kale with balsamic and mushrooms, cabbage with Asian dressing, spring greens with fruit… as an entrée or a side dish, there are so many yummy alternatives! Find your family favorites!
Have you seen this picture on my About page? Yes, my family really does like green smoothies! If this is a first for your family, make one for St. Patrick’s day to make it fun! When they taste how delicious it is, they won’t question one on another day!
What did I miss? How else do you eat your greens? Remember, every little bit counts, so get creative!