How many times have you heard the phrase, “turn over a new leaf”? The reference is associated with a lifestyle change and when it comes to your diet, you should take this advice literally. Leafy vegetables, also known as Greens, have been gaining in popularity mostly because of their nutritional merits. They are typically low in calories and fat, high in protein, dietary fiber, iron and calcium, and very high in vitamin C, carotenoids, lutein, folate, magnesium and vitamin K.
Below are a few of our Freshie favorites:
Kale is rich in Vitamin A and helps promote vision health. It tastes like a peppery cabbage and is delicious sautéed in olive oil with thinly sliced garlic pieces and red pepper flakes. Curious to try it? Stop by our chef case and ask for a sample. You can also find the baby version of kales, available in our pre-packed salads selection. It has a milder taste so is more popular to add to salads or smoothies.
With a mild spinach-like flavor, chard can have smooth or curly leaves that can range from light to dark green. The stem color can vary widely as well, from a pinkish-red to gold. Unlike other greens, both stem and leaves are edible. A cup of cooked chard has six times your daily recommended intake of Vitamin K. It is also naturally high in sodium so be careful not to add too much salt while cooking.
High in Iron and a proven fatigue fighter, spinach is commonly found in both baby and “grown up” form. Baby spinach leaves are mild and sweet and often used to make fresh salads. More mature leaves are great to wilt in pasta dishes or to use in steak house favorites like creamed spinach.
Along with mustard and turnip greens, these are the greens most identified with southern style cooking. They are all high in Vitamins C and K. Collards have a mild flavor similar to cabbage while Mustard and Turnip have a more distinct aroma and a peppery bite. These greens are best boiled and combined with other bold flavors such as bacon, onions and garlic. Another great ingredient to add to boiled greens is vinegar, typically balsamic or cider.
Try this delicious collard greens recipe from Melissa’s:
Collard Greens and Carrots with Balsamic Glaze
1 qt water plus a pinch of salt
1 large bunch collard greens (about 8-10 oz) washed, stemmed and roughly chopped
5 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into ½ inch crosswise slices
2 Tbs olive oil or vegetable oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
Pinch dried red pepper flakes
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
Bring 1 quart of lightly salted water in a large pot to rapid boil on high heat. Add collard greens and carrots. Boil 7-9 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh with cold water. Drain or squeeze out excess water with hands.
Heat oil in large deep skillet on medium-high heat. Add soy, sugar, pepper flakes, and vinegar; stir to combine. Add vegetables, broth, and cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If water, place on high heat and cook until liquid evaporates.
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