Learn to Love Leafy Greens: Increase Your Intake With These 7 Simple Tips

by Casey Conway | November 15, 2015 10:15 pm

It’s really no secret that leafy green vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. If you aren’t already a vegetable lover, however, it can be tough to increase your intake. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.

1. Diversify
All leafy greens are not created equal, so try something new to provide your body with a wide variety of nutrients. Spinach, kale and lettuce are common, but have you tried bok choy, collard greens or Swiss chard?

2.  Start with breakfast
If you really want to increase your leafy green intake, start first thing in the morning. You can incorporate fresh or frozen spinach into a healthy fruit smoothie each morning. If you’d rather chew your breakfast than sip it, try a veggie omelet with a mix of chopped kale and Swiss chard.

3.  Wrap them up!
Lettuce wraps are another great option. Fill them with hummus or avocado, and load them up with chopped veggies and your choice of protein. Ready to graduate to a more serious wrap? Remove half of the woody stem of a collard green leaf so it’s not as thick. Use the collard green leaf as a wrap for a different dose of vitamins and minerals.

4.  Spice things up!
Try sautéing bok choy with shredded carrots and fresh garlic and ginger. The combo makes a flavorful side dish. In fact, you can add everything from fresh onions, garlic, and turmeric to your greens to change and enhance their flavor. This is especially good news for those picky eaters.

5.  Soups on!
Speaking of picky eaters, soup is a great way to hide leafy greens. You might be able to see them, but you can hide flavors you don’t enjoy as much. Try adding leafy greens to lentil or white bean soup. Warm soup also means that tougher greens will be easy to chew, something those who don’t do well with certain textures will appreciate.

6.  Stir-fry!
Make a simple stir-fry with frozen veggies and add in a leafy green of your choice during the last few minutes of cooking. This is another way to avoid raw leafy greens, which some people don’t initially enjoy. A stir-fry provides the perfect opportunity to incorporate other spices and vegetables.

7.  Simple salads
Salads are a simple way to incorporate several cups of leafy greens. Load on your other favorite vegetables, chopped nuts, fruit, a protein of choice and a delicious dressing.

With a little creativity and preparation, you can easily meet the daily recommendation of three to four servings of leafy greens.

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