Great news about greens - they are nutrient dense! That means they are low in calories and high in nutrients.
Leafy greens have about 10-35 calories per 125 mL (1/2 cup) cooked serving. They are rich in folate, vitamin A, calcium and vitamin C. They also high in fibre, and naturally low in fat and sodium.
Delicious and easy ways to prepare dark leafy greens
For something simple, try steaming the greens and serving with a teaspoon of olive oil drizzled over the top, balsamic vinegar and pepper. You can also stir-fry, boil or braise them. You can tell leafy greens are cooked once the greens are wilted and are bright in colour.
Good flavourings for greens are garlic, capers, ginger, chilli flakes, red or white wine vinegar, sesame seeds, lemon or maple syrup.
Here are other ways to add greens to your favourite recipes:
• Chop kale, spinach, or Swiss chard finely and add to tomato or meat sauce.
• Use spinach or arugula to make a pesto and use on pasta, chicken or pizza.
• Add chopped greens to a stir-fry near the end of the cooking time. Cook until they are wilted but still bright green.
• Add fresh or frozen chopped greens to vegetable soups, stews or chilli.
• Fold cooked greens into an omelette or frittata.
• Skip the iceberg lettuce in your salads and sandwiches and try arugula, baby spinach, mesclun mix, watercress or baby mustard greens.
Did you know? Dark leafy greens contain chemicals that discourage animals from eating them. It’s those chemicals that make greens bitter.
Green Monster smoothie
1 cup unsweetened nut milk (I prefer Almond milk)
handful of dark greens (kale or spinach)
Handful of frozen berries or fresh berries
Fresh fruit slices
1 scoop Protein Powder (1g or less of sugar per scoop)
1-2 TBSP Hemp hearts
1 TBSP Chia seeds
1 TBSP Cacao powder
1 tsp Maple syrup
Blend everything together until smooth. Enjoy your healthy smoothie!
makes 375ml / 1 1/2 cup
2 cloves garlic
50g Sorrel leaves / baby spinach
250g cooked chickpeas / 15 oz can low sodium chickpeas
1/4 cup / 60ml Tahini
grated zest of one lemon
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Cold pressed olive oil for serving
Put garlic, chickpeas, Tahini, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, maple syrup and baby spinach in food processor and blend on high till smooth. Add 60ml (1/4 cup) water. Blend till all ingredients is combined and smooth.
Transfer Hummus to serving bowl, drizzle with some olive oil and add a few cooked chickpeas on top for garnish. Serve and enjoy your healthy home made Hummus!
Leftovers can be stored in the fridgein an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Garlicky White Bean & Kale Stew
Knob of coconut oil or avocado oil
2 medium onions
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but really delicious)
5 bay leaves
Pinch chili flakes
Cracked black pepper
2- 2 ½ cups cooked white beans (lima, butter, navy, cannelini…)
2 cups packed shredded kale leaves
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14 oz.) organic whole tomatoes
Cold-pressed olive oil to garnish
1. Heat a knob of oil in a large stockpot. Slice onions and add to the pot with a couple pinches sea salt, chili, bay leaves and paprika. Cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened, then add sliced garlic. If the post becomes dry, add a little juice from the tinned tomatoes.
2. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, season to taste, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil (since everything is cooked, you don’t need to heat it long). If you are going to let it simmer for a while, add the kale about 5-10 minutes before serving so that it retains more of its nutritional value.
Recipe by Sarah Britton