You’ve heard it time and time again: greens are really good for you and you should be consuming 2-3 servings a day. They’re high in vitamins and minerals, aid in digestion and offer a source of plant-based protein. But if you’re just not a fan, no matter how good they are (and you know it), it can be hard to get enough.
While using greens powders is one solution, consuming them in their whole, natural form is always better.
Here’s 5 ways to sneak greens into your food that even the biggest naysayer will enjoy:
You’ve probably heard this one many times before as well, but it has a lot of merit. It is true that a cup of spinach added into your smoothie will not alter the flavor and with a decent blender will still be ground up small enough that your smoothie stays smooth and delicious. Other greens such as chard or kale don’t integrate as seamlessly as spinach, so stay away from those if you have a big aversion to any green taste at all. Just one cup of spinach will offer you vitamin k, iron and calcium, as well as give you magnesium and help fill you up longer due to its fiber content.
Not only does green sauce look really pretty, but without even knowing it from the taste (hint: it doesn’t taste yucky), you are getting a great boost of vitamins and minerals. Make a creamy pasta sauce by combining greens, white kidney beans, avocado and some tahini and season with salt and lemon juice or add in some fresh herbs if you prefer. The result is a green creamy sauce, which is perfect for drowning pasta and can be served hot or cold. Better yet, leftovers make a great base for your own homemade curry paste – simply add your spices and you’re good to go.
Pesto as you know it, may be that oily, cheese filled version you buy in the grocery store, which is lacking in the green stuff. Instead of buying it, opt to make your own, and get creative with the contents. Anything from spinach to kale to herbs like cilantro, parsley and basil are all a go when it comes to pesto. Add in a healthy nut choice such as almonds or walnuts and a bit of olive oil and vinegar and blend away. The result will be a pesto that is rich in greens and all the nutrients they provide, with just enough fat content to aid in digestion and fight inflammation, but not so much that the caloric value of the pesto is outrageous.
If you make your own at home veggie burgers, lentil meatloaf or falafels, it’s easy to add greens into the mix with no alteration to the taste. Simply throw in a cup of spinach when you are blending up the ingredients and it will blend right in without you (or your kids) even knowing it is there. The outcome however, will be a dinner that offers an additional source of plant based protein, is rich in vitamin K and magnesium and packs a big antioxidant punch due to the bright colour of the healthy greens!