Greens Greens Glorious Dark Leafy Greens!

Photo by kristja

Dark leafy greens like kale, collards, spinach and Swiss chard are probably the one food LEAST consumed by most North American’s.  Most people in my generation didn’t grow up with these types of foods and so as adults they continue to shy away from them.   Those who have tried them, may had been turned off by the bitterness of these vegetables or simply just don’t know what to do with them.

Today I want to give you some tips on how to cook your dark leafy greens in a SIMPLE, delicious, mouth watering way, that will leave you craving more of these nutrient dense foods.

But first lets talk about why we want to eat more greens.

Dark leafy greens are one of the richest food sources of vitamins and minerals.  They are overloaded with nutrients and because of this they benefit us in many ways. 

Here’s just a few or the many things dark leafy greens do for us: 

Photo by Nathalie Dulex

Greens help the liver do it’s job better, which means you will process and eliminate toxins from your system more easily and efficiently.

Greens help to protect your heart.  They keep your blood from being too thick, reduce blood pressure and keep cholesterol levels in check.

Greens are rich in enzymes and fiber, which allow you to break down your foods more effectively and keep the bowels eliminating easily.

Greens contain an abundance of antioxidants, provide protection for our brains, support proper cell structure and are anti-inflammatory.

The easiest ways to get in more greens would be to use the prepped boxed greens from the store as the base for a salad or add a handful into your smoothie.  You could try freezing greens like kale and adding a handful of these into your smoothie for a crisp refreshing taste.

My absolute favourite way to eat greens is sautéed.  No matter what type of greens I’ve picked up from the store I do them all the same simple way and they taste AMAZING!

Here’s my method:

Melt butter (organic unsalted) in a large frying pan or wok.  You can use coconut oil instead if you don’t want to use dairy.

Chop the steam of the leafy green and add it to the pan.

Once the stem is starting to soften add in chopped garlic.  (I love garlic, so I use at least 3 cloves)

Cut or rip leaves into smaller pieces and add into the pan.

Squeeze half a lemon on top of the greens.

Remove from heat when the leaves start to turn darker green.

The combination of butter, garlic and lemon juice really make this dish magical on the tastebuds.  The lemon is a great addition not only to cut the bitter taste of the greens, but it also helps us to digest them better and in turn access and absorb more of the minerals hiding within the greens.  Don’t be afraid if you notice your garlic turn a blue/green colour.  It’s just a reaction to the lemon juice. 

I found a new kitchen gadget to make this dish even easier to prep.  I’ve seen it called the a “green zipper”or a “green stripper”. 

Photo by J. Kaster

You put the bottom of the stem into one of the holes and pull it through.  As you do this it strips all the leaves off the stem.  This style has many sizes of holes, so you can also use it for herbs.  Brilliant!

Enjoy your glorious greens!

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