Recently a study was done by the CDC on the nutrient density of vegetables, and they found that greens completely dominated the top of the list. And even more surprisingly, considering the star it has become, kale didn’t even crack the top 10!
So which greens topped the list, and how can you incorporate more of them into your everyday eating habits?
If there’s one thing I know and am good at, it’s how to sneak more and more greens into your everyday diet. You should see how many different types of greens I come home from the markets with! Here are some of my best tips to getting sneaky with your greens.
Watercress came in at #1! It’s an aquatic plant that grows in slow moving water, and is exceptionally high in many different nutrients. It can be hard to find, I can only get it a few months of the year at the farmers market or from the online delivery service I use. But when you can get your hands on it, make sure you grab some.
Add watercress to:
- Green smoothies or green juices
- Add to salads with spinach or romaine lettuce
- Scrambled eggs or omelettes
- Add to sandwiches, nori rolls, or anywhere you can hide a some watercress leaves
2. Chinese cabbage
Aka Wombok, a type of cabbage that you can use like regular cabbage.
Add Chinese cabbage to:
- Asian crunchy salads
- Asian stir fry’s
- Use to make sauerkraut or kimchi
Chard can be quite bitter, so I only use it for one thing – juicing! Add to your green juices.
But here are a few other things you can add it to:
- Eggs dish – scrambled, quiche etc
- Sauteed with garlic and olive oil as a side dish
4. Beet greens
Beet greens are the top part of beets. At the farmers market you should easily be able to find beets with the beet tops still on. Chop off the greens close the the beet root. Young beet greens are often used in salad mixes too.
- Green juice
Spinach is one my favourite greens – it’s versatile and tasty! I use spinach more in cooking and salads than in juices.
Use it in:
- Green smoothies
- Goes great with eggs – lightly sauteed and added to scrambled eggs or quiches, or used as a side with an omelette or fried eggs
- Or try these vegan chickpea scrambled eggs with sauteed spinach
- Curry dishes
Chicory leaves are not too popular or well-known. I’ve never used them myself, but it seems you can boil or saute them like most other greens.
7. Leaf lettuce
Leaf lettuce grows in leaves rather than on a head (like romaine lettuce).
- Check out romaine lettuce below for more ideas
Parsley is my favourite herb, by far. I add it to everything!
Try it in:
- Chopped up in salads
- Anything with eggs
- Chop up garlic, parsley and some dill or chives with lemon juice and use on fish
- Make my amazing Parsley & Garlic Punch Pesto – I eat this everyday with potato!
- Try this garlic parsley potato salad
9. Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce (also known as cos lettuce) is a staple in this house – I buy 10 – 15 a week. I use the outer leaves in green juices and the crispy inner leaves in salads.
Use it in:
- Green juices
- Salads, like this delicious Caesar salad, or this Roasted Purple Carrot & Baby Beet Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
- Use the large outer leaves as ‘wraps’, like with these raw taco’s
10. Collard green
Collards, in my eyes, are good for one thing and one thing only: wraps. They are large, strong and sturdy, which makes them the perfect raw wrap!
They can be hard to find here in Aus, but for the month or so they are around I use them instead of lettuce for my wraps.
Use collards for:
- Sauteed as a side dish
- Sauteed with eggs
- Soups, stews
- Stuffed – you can make stuffed collards (like with cabbage) filled with rice, veggies and beans and cook in a tomato sauce
The runners up, in order were turnip green, mustard green, endive, chive, kale, dandelion green, red pepper, arugula, broccoli, pumpkin and Brussels sprout.
And that’s why I love juicing!
All of these greens are perfect for juicing, and funny enough a good number of them are included in the healing Gerson green juice. Juicing is the perfect way to get in good amounts of these nutrient dense veggies. You would never be able to sit down and eat the same amount in their raw form – especially not in a such an easily digestible way as in a liquid.