How To Make Your Leafy Greens Taste Better
The fall season brings those back-to-school vibes and, with that, sets new routines. This time of year can be as popular as the new year for creating healthy habits, such as a new workout regime or getting back into meal planning. If you’re eating for optimal nutrition, you know you have to consume lots of leafy greens. Perhaps the idea of a spinach salad or kale chips doesn’t exactly leave your mouth watering. We have lots of suggestions on how to make leafy greens taste better.
Dark, leafy greens provide a ton of nutritional value; they’re packed with antioxidants, can pull toxins from the body, are fibre-rich, and are super heart-healthy. Parsley is more than a garnish! While you may already be incorporating greens into your diet, mix it up from the same ol’ recipes and let’s get some tasty variety happening in the kitchen to keep you going back for more.
No more limp lettuce
The first thing to keep in mind when making your greens taste good is keeping them fresh and crisp. Spin salad greens in a salad spinner, then drain some of the water, leaving a bit in the button of the container. Store the lettuce in the spinner, and it will stay crunchy for quite a few days.
A way to increase your greens content and keep it tasty is by eating sprouts. Sprouts are seeds that have germinated and are starting to grow shoots. Add broccoli sprouts, a protein sandwich booster or alfalfa to sandwiches, wraps, omelettes, stir-fries and burgers. They pretty much go with anything; they don’t have a super-strong taste and are so nutritionally dense. Broccoli sprouts have four times the antioxidant power of actual broccoli. You can find sprouts in most health-food stores. The most economical and plastic-free way to consume more sprouts is by growing them yourself. A bag of seeds will last you a couple of months, depending on how many sprouts you’re eating, and they will always be fresh.
Massage your kale
Do you ever notice that kale can seem kind of tough? You’re chewing so long you start to feel like a farm animal. Ok, hear us out! Cut your kale into ribbons, or thin strips, add a pinch of salt, some olive oil and juice of half a lemon. Then using your hands, gently massage the salad mix, softening the greens and giving them much more flavour. Add in some sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced chicken breast and avocado, and you’ve got yourself a full, satisfying and delicious meal. To kick it up a notch, sprinkle it with nutritional yeast for a bit of cheesiness. Mmmmmm.
Everything but the kitchen sink
Your morning smoothie is the place to really up the greens content. Combine oat milk, banana, frozen cherries, raw cacao powder, hemp seeds with a few healthy handfuls of spinach, kale, swiss chard or green of your choice and blend; you’ll feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast. If you’re taking any green supplements, like spirulina or chlorella, add them to your smoothie as well. Covering the taste with a banana and other fruits is a super tasty way to eat more green goodness.
Salty, with some heat
Saute your leafy greens such as radish tops, bok choy, swiss chard with sea salt, chilli flakes, and finely chopped garlic. No one said eating clean had to be bland; spice it up! Add in some strips of beef with slices of mushrooms to get it tasting extra meaty and filling, or toss in some anchovies or bacon bits. If you like your food a bit more tart, drizzle with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Find a combination that works for your taste buds. Are you drooling yet?
The best part about herbs is that they really punch up any dish’s flavour profile, so get sprinkling. Add chopped parsley, cilantro, basil, chives to pasta, fish, roasted veggies and eggs. If you don’t like the excessive chopping, get yourself a pair of herb scissors. They make it super easy to grab a bunch of greens and cut with the scissors right over your plate, no extra chopping mess.
Shake and bake
If you usually saute or steam your greens, try baking or roasting in the oven instead. Toss broccoli florets with olive oil, sea salt, and minced garlic, then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 400C. Cook it longer if you want it a bit crispy. This is not your grandma’s soggy green mush! Try this with Brussel sprouts, asparagus, or green beans.
Dip, dip, dip
There are endless dip options out there; tzatziki, hummus, cashew cheese, baba ganoush, guacamole, and classic vegetable dip, to name a few. Find something you like, keep it on hand and pull it out of the fridge often for a quick and easy mid-afternoon snack. Adding dips is a tasty way to eat celery, zucchini, broccoli, peas and beans.
A big salad isn’t the only way to consume lots of green leafy vegetables. There are so many ways to make them delicious and satisfying. Spice, blend and sprout to keep things exciting and flavourful. Find what’s in season and make it your own. And, if nothing else works, add cheese! A sprinkle of parmesan or nutritional yeast can turn things around.
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