Tips on how to add more dark leafy vegetables to your diet

Too often, nutrition advice can seem inherently confusing and unnecessarily convoluted. When should i eat? What’s the best bang-for-my-buck workout? Do I really need a probiotic? Complex questions abound, which is why we are dedicated to answering them all here at CS. But when it comes to the point, some universal advice applies. Prioritize sleep, move your body in a way that is supportive and joyful, seek purpose in your daily life, and eat a colorful diet rich in a variety of nutrients. But on the subject of that last seemingly simple truth, there’s one part that always throws me, and I imagine many more, for a cycle: how to add more dark green leafy vegetables to your diet.

Green powders? Just one piece of the puzzle in search of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Yes, in a pinch, these blend-and-go options do the job. But often, what these solutions suggest is that we haven’t gotten far from our picky adolescence and need to hide all the foods good for you under the guise of something more palatable. Newsflash: The world of dark green leafy vegetables is vast and rich. Some choices are tough and spicy while others tend to be milder and more tender. There are those that work best in soups and other leafy greens that take center stage in vibrant, verdant sauces. Conclusion? There is no shortage of ways to incorporate these nutrient-rich wonders into your diet.

That’s why I reached out to holistic nutritionist Mia Rigden, MS, CNS and the founder of RASA to share everything there is to know about getting our veggies not just on the log, but in the most delicious and easy way possible. She keeps scrolling for Rigden’s expert tips, plus six recipes to get you started.

Featured image by Suruchi Avasthi.

To begin, why is it important to get our daily requirement of leafy vegetables?

Leafy vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrition! They are full of vitamins, such as vitamins K, C and E; minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium; and phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which provide cellular protection, improve eye health, and even have some anti-aging properties.

How do these vegetables support our overall well-being?

Leafy greens provide fiber and protein to keep you full and satisfied. With all this nutrition, they can reduce bloating, help relieve stress, improve gut health, improve detoxification, support the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, and more.

What foods fall into the “leafy vegetables” category?

When it comes to green leafy vegetables, the darker the pigment, the more nutrition it has. The list of leafy vegetables includes:

  • cabbage
  • spinach
  • cabbage
  • cabbage
  • watercress
  • beets
  • rocket
  • Romaine lettuce
  • chard
  • mustard
  • endive
  • Chinese cabbage
  • turnip greens

What tips and tricks make it easy to get vegetables with every meal?

When you start thinking outside the box (CSA), you will start to find many delicious ways that you can incorporate your dark green leafy vegetables into every meal, every day. Rigden shares his top six tips:

1. Throw a handful of veggies into your daily smoothie to start the day with extra nutrition.

2. Eggs are a great vehicle for stir-fried vegetables of all varieties. I love making an omelette with fresh vegetables to have all week. He is a cook once, he eats many times kind of dish.

3. If you’re short on time, buy pre-washed organic vegetables for salads and quick and easy bowls all week.

4. Find a CSA or visit a farmer’s market to support local agriculture and get fresh, seasonal vegetables every week.

5. When cooking, use the whole plant and find uses for the stems, stems and leaves that you might normally throw away. Beets, for example, are highly nutritious, as are broccoli leaves, parsley stalks, cabbage stalks, and other commonly discarded plant parts. Smoothies, sautées, pesto and soups are a great way to sneak in those extra veggies.

6. Many of the vitamins in leafy vegetables are fat soluble, which means they must be consumed with fat to be absorbed, so don’t be afraid to season your vegetables with olive oil, herb butter, avocado oil, nuts. , seeds, or another source of fat.

6 Recipes That Make It Easy (And Delicious!) To Get Your Dark Leafy Veggies

Green Butter Almond Smoothie

Why we love it: I couldn’t agree more with Rigden – smoothies are one of my favorite ways to get my greens! Already a morning habit, I simply add a handful of spinach or another dark leafy green with a neutral flavor and go. When I want something that diverges a little from the path of my normal drink / meal hybrid (I like repetition), this is the recipe I go for. It’s full of healthy fats, fiber, and general goodness. What is not to love?

Hero Ingredient: Almond butter blends perfectly with the other healthy ingredients, but will give your smoothie just the right amount of decadence.

Discover the recipe for the green almond butter smoothie.

Stir-fried Tofu Noodles with Spring Vegetables from Minimalist Baker

Why we love it: There is nothing that inspires me more during meals than a bowl full of colorful ingredients. While French fries have a reputation for being a little heavier, the abundance of veggies keeps things light while maintaining a serious flavor.

Hero Ingredient: Don’t sleep on the stir-fried Tahini sauce. It’s just one of the beautiful things that make this dish a delicious treat.

Get the recipe for stir-fried tofu pasta with spring vegetables.

Bowl of eggs and vegetables eating bird food

Why we love it: Salad, but make it tempting enough to enjoy first thing in the morning. I’ve been making a variation of this meal every morning for breakfast for years. This recipe perfectly combines proteins and vegetables.

Hero Ingredient: Two eggs on the sunny side are a reason to smile.

Get the recipe for the egg and vegetable bowl.

Love & Lemons rocket pesto

Why we love it: Pesto is one of my favorite things to do. Not only is this perhaps the best example of a low-maintenance, high-yielding recipe, but the options are truly endless when it comes to experimenting with different ingredients and components. Case in point, this rocket takes up the classic. The leafy dark green gives the sauce a hint of spiciness, so I’m here 100%.

Hero Ingredient: Cashews keep your pesto creamy, dreamy, and delicious. Spoon me.

Discover the recipe for rocket pesto.

Great green vegetable soup that boosts immunity

Why we love it: Camille developed this recipe a couple of years ago and it has held the title of being one of our most popular recipes of all time ever since. The recognition is certainly not without merit. Not only does it pack an impressive amount of green veggies in every bowl, but it’s possibly the best blend I’ve ever come across for being comforting while still tasting fresh.

Hero Ingredient: Ginger gives everything a little warm, ground spice, beautifully binding all the many vegetables in this soup together.

Get the recipe for Great green vegetable soup that boosts immunity.

Quick Cabbage by Cookie + Kate

Why we love it: Cabbage? You bet! While the traditional barbecue side may have the connotation of being the default vegetarian of the heavier fare, this recipe shows a healthier spin. Plus, all the flavor it packs is beyond impressive. Each bite is garlic, lemon, and just what you want served alongside a more filling protein or main dish. It’s the side dish you crave right away when spring weather arrives.

Hero Ingredient: Don’t you like the heat? Give up or hold back the chili flakes. But I’ll tell you one thing right here: you’ll get lost.

Get the quick cabbage recipe.

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