In celebration of Earth Day this past weekend, I’m going to challenge you to experiment with some new green foods. If you’re not already eating at least a few of these items on a regular basis, this is your chance to “green” your diet and try some of the best foods nature has to offer.
Here are my 10 favourite ways to eat more greens.
1. Cruciferous greens (kale, collards, Swiss chard)
These “super” veggies are at the top of list because they have no other job than to improve you health. They are loaded with fibre, calcium, magnesium and chlorophyll. The simplest way to enjoy these leafy veggies is to steam them, sauté them or add them raw into juices, smoothies and soups. Try a new leafy vegetable each week and then rotate them on a regular basis.
2. Fresh green herbs (dill, parsley, basil)
Fresh herbs in the spring and summer will lift up your meals and give them a boost, not only in flavour but nutritionally as well. I always try to put parsley into my green juices, salads or chopped on whole grains. Fresh herbs like dill are a wonderful accent to dips and soups. And use basil to make pesto – nothing beats the taste of it homemade!
3. Living greens (mung beans, broccoli and sunflower sprouts)
Sprouts are nutritional powerhouses loaded with enzymes, protein and fibre. They’re a living food, so will add a unique burst of freshness to your meal. Toss them in to salads, sandwiches or even alongside cooked grains, stir-fries and soups.
4. Spicy greens (arugula and mustards)
The spicy greens have a peppery and nutty flavour. They contain a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. They’re also a rich source of calcium. They will certainly add a zesty kick to your meal and help with digestion. Try adding them into your next salad or side dish.
This vegetable is the green spear of the spring. It has a long rich stalk that is an incredible source of fibre. The tips are loaded with vitamin K, vitamin C and iron. Asparagus tastes amazing steamed, but make sure you don’t overcook – you want to keep them green, not brown.
6. Green pods (snap peas, snow peas and garden peas)
The tender sweet crunch of snap peas, snow peas and garden peas are a sure sign of spring. They are loaded with protein and fibre and help to balance blood sugar levels. They are incredibly delicious in salads, stir-fries or just ready to munch out of a bowl.
If you are not in love with the rich creamy texture of avocados yet, maybe their health benefits will entice you. They’re an extremely rich source of omega-3 fats, protein, vitamin E and antioxidants that protect the skin, heart and blood. They also taste amazing in just about anything from smoothies to desserts, sandwiches, salads and dips. You can even mash up an avocado and put it on your skin for a rejuvenating face mask.
8. Green apples and kiwi
Green apples and kiwis are tart and slightly sour. They offer your taste buds a fresh unique flavour than most sweet fruits. They’re great for cleansing and balancing blood sugar levels. Try slicing them up for a mid-afternoon snack or evening dessert.
9. Green powders (chlorella, spirulina and barley grass)
Green powders may just be the easiest way to detox and go green this spring, as they provide top quality minerals and nutrients. All you need is 1 tsp to add into your water and sip throughout the day or try blending them into your daily smoothie.
10. Green juices
This is the ultimate way to go green. Choose from a variety green leafy vegetables, celery, cucumber, green apple and pear. As you’re making the homemade juice, save your pulp and use leftovers for a cracker or muffin recipe. That is the ultimate way to go green – reuse as much of the vegetable as you can!