6 Easy Ways to Get in Those Dark Leafy Greens

Sunday, January 15, 2017
Tina Patnode, RDN, LD

Dark green leafy vegetables are low in calories and packed full of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and folate. Often people struggle with how to incorporate these nutritious greens into their diet. Below are six examples of how to include these greens into your diet in a tasty, satisfying way.

Kale chips

These vegetable chips are a fast and easy substitute for the high calorie alternative. And the best part, you can make them yourself! Simply wash 4 handfuls of kale, tear into pieces, and then toss in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Next, arrange the chips on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake for 10- 15 minutes at 375 degrees, turning them half way through. Let cool and enjoy!

Spinach is a superfood 

Just 1 cup of spinach contains 105% of the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) for vitamin A. In addition, spinach is the second-highest vitamin K containing food. Vitamin K is essential in blood clotting and bone health. Toss spinach into a salad, soup, stew, or casserole.

Smoothies or juicing

Boost your daily intake by drinking your greens! Watch the calories though-- this Quick Green Smoothie recipe is calorically dense, so drink half the serving for breakfast and save the other half for a snack. 

Soups and stews

Leafy greens such as collards, mustard greens, beet greens, and Swiss chard can be a great addition to soups and stews. Check out this recipe for Lentil and Green Collard Soup.

Omelets or scrambles 

Arugula, beet greens, and parsley make for tasty options added to omelets. A fantastic way to start your day packed full of protein and healthy greens! Simply chop or hand tear some and fold into your omelet.

 Go bunless or wrap it up

Replace the burger bun with Romaine lettuce or green-leaf lettuce for a lower carbohydrate alternative. Also consider using Butter lettuce, Swiss chard, bok choy, or escarole as a great way to “wrap” your favorite fillings.