Eat yo greens, fool!
As a part of my January Detox, I’m committing to eating six servings of green veggies a day. This would be a lot easier if I could just hang out all day, leisurely visit farmers markets, and cook greens. Sadly, this is not the case. But, I figured it out and so can you. None of this “I’m just too busy to eat all these vegetables” nonsense. Or even worse, “I don’t liiiiike green vegetables.” I know, growing up sucks. Here are my tips for getting in a ton of veggies:
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. It would be impossible for me to eat this volume of green veggies without making them in large quantities in advance. I take time on Sunday to prepare food for the week, and now I’m preparing large quantities of greens along with my weekly protein. I cook up about three quarters of the week’s greens, then through the week supplement as needed. I’ll make up individual servings in Pyrex dishes so they’re easy to grab and go.
2. Cook those suckers. It is much easier to eat one serving of spinach when it is cooked down to about 1/2 of a cup, rather than in its raw state that equals about 3 cups. Cooking for spinach, specifically, allows for more bioavailability of nutrients. Double bonus! I think including raw veggies is helpful, but for the majority of my green veggie intake, I cook them.
3. Buy organic. Spinach, kale, and greens are on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen plus, so buy those organic if possible.
5. Clarified butter (if you must).
6. Use spices. If you haven’t already, find yourself the nearest Savory spice shop, Penzey’s or local spice shop and go buck wild. Using spice blends on greens really jazzes them up. I use this recipe every week, and never get sick of it. Also – use salt. Salt makes food much more palatable. Cutting out processed foods allows for much more salt leeway, and I take advantage of it. Get a good quality salt.
7. Remember that spinach and nutmeg are BFF’s.
8. Let it mellow. If you’re working with a bitter green, like kale, try boiling it in chicken broth to temper the sharp taste. (Thanks, Mom, for the tip!) Also, bitter greens tend to mellow out a couple days after cooking them. Just like people, sometimes they just need some time to calm down.
9. Make good use of restaurants. Most restaurants offer steamed broccoli or spinach, so if you’re eating out take advantage of the fact that someone ELSE is preparing your greens for you.
10. Get adventurous. Life is way too short to just eat spinach and broccoli. Be daring. Eat mustard greens, collard greens, kale, and my personal favorite, chard.
For a bonus tip… embrace greens at breakfast. Let go of your stereotypes of breakfast and dig into some green goodness in the AM. Trust.
And whatever you do, don’t get tricked into thinking that kale chips could ever replace potato chips. Maybe in theory, but never in spirit.