There are lots of controversies in nutrition but there is one piece of advice that is (almost) universally agreed upon. You’ve heard it before: Eat more greens. The scientific literature is convincing…greens are good for you. But, here’s where it gets tricky. Lots of people think that eating greens means eating salad…and lots of those people just don’t like salad.
The good news is that you can dramatically increase the amount of “greens” in your diet without ever eating a salad again. Let my team at UpWellness show you the way.
You have probably heard it said that eating more leafy greens is healthy, and this is, in fact, true. Adding more greens to your diet can not only help you stay healthy but can also help your body gravitate towards its best weight. But does eating more greens have to mean eating more salad? The short answer is no; there are other delicious ways to incorporate greens into your diet. If you are bored with salad, you are going to love these options.
Green smoothies and juices
The green smoothie and juice craze was not just a fad; it is still around and for a good reason. Nutrient-rich smoothies and juices infused with greens are good for you and delicious. Not only can drinking your greens improve your energy, but it can also help build up a strong immune system and help with digestion.
If you are new to drinking greens, start with smoothies and then try juicing. Here are some tips for making a nutritionally power-packed green smoothie.
- Start with a handful of organic spinach – Add a handful of organic spinach to your favorite smoothie recipe. Once blended, you will not even notice that it is in the drink.
- Try some fresh herbs – Adding some fresh herbs to your favorite smoothie is a great way to reap all of their powerful benefits. Try mint, basil, cilantro, or parsley to start and broaden your horizons from here.
- Don’t let the color scare you – Yes, the greens will likely color your smoothie to various shades of green. Just close your eyes and enjoy!
Once you are enjoying green smoothies, you can graduate to juicing. Juicing can be done in some blenders, or you can purchase a juicer. Experiment with different recipes until you find a few that you really like. Just adding a shot of juice to your daily routine can provide much-needed vitamins and minerals.
A new and greener kind of snack chip
When you feel like snacking, you can turn to a wholesome variety of chips not made in an old-fashioned way but instead made with super healthy kale. That’s right kale chips are easy to make and delicious. Store them in an airtight container for up to one week and enjoy anytime you feel like munching.
Adding some greens to your breakfast
It is super easy to sneak some greens into breakfast without anyone minding. If you like eggs, chop up some spinach or kale and add them to your favorite scramble. It is also super easy to add some spinach to your favorite muffin mix – just chop it up small. You can even add greens to pancake and waffle mix for additional color and nutrition.
Soups and stews
If you love to make soups and stews, sneaking in a few greens can enhance flavor while adding lots of nutrition. Comfort meals like soups and curries welcome greens like kale, spinach, and herbs. Simply chop up the greens and add them in towards the end of cooking time.
Yes, there is more than one way to eat a sandwich, and it does not have to include bread. If you are a serious sandwich lover, you are going to love wrapping your sandwich in greens. You can use a large Romaine leaf for a delicious sandwich casing or try using a collard green wrap. Basically, you take the stem off of the collard and fold and stuff it as you would a traditional wrap. This is so much more nutritious than a plain flour wrap.
Ok, all of you sweet lovers, there is also a way to supercharge your favorite treats with greens. Here are two delicious ways to have your sweets and greens too!
Ice cream – Instead of using food coloring to get a rich color for your mint chip and pistachio ice cream, use an ice cream base instead and add in some spinach. This will give your ice cream a beautiful color and the same great taste you are used to.
Brownies and chocolate cake – It is incredibly easy to sneak some spinach into your favorite ooey, gooey brownie recipe. Just be sure to cut up the spinach or kale into small pieces before adding.
Here is an amazing recipe for delicious green brownies thanks to Chocolate Covered Katie.
- loosely-packed 3 cups kale or spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 tbsp ground flax
- 3/4 cup vegetable or melted coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup xylitol or sugar of choice
- 1/16 tsp pure stevia, or 2 extra tbsp sugar of choice
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, or grease well.
- Blend together the first 6 ingredients (if using coconut oil, make sure applesauce and water are not cold).
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients. Pour wet into dry and stir until just evenly combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan, then use a full sheet of parchment or wax paper to press down firmly until the batter evenly covers the pan.
- Bake 19-20 minutes. Pat down hard with a pancake spatula or another sheet of parchment paper.
- Let brownies sit 15 minutes before cutting into squares. (As a general rule, cutting brownies with a plastic knife prevents crumbling.) They taste 10 times better the next day, so make them in advance if possible. Makes 20-24 squares.
Who would have ever thought that it would be so easy or delicious to eat more greens?
-The UpWellness Team