As children most of us had to be coerced into eating our vegetables, especially green ones. Greens don’t have those comfort food qualities that bring us that loving feeling; but just as it is with people, it is healthy and wise to love the food that loves us back.
There are few foods that pack nutrition in our bodies like leafy greens, especially dark greens and cruciferous vegetables. Here are five easy ways to build a healthy relationship with greens.
1. May I have a straw, please?
Smoothies may be one of the simplest and most delicious ways to get your greens. A 2-to-1 ratio of fruits to greens can provide a nice balance of sweetness and green nutrition. Because vitamins A, E, and K are fat-soluble, consider adding modest amounts of healthy plant-based fat sources such as nuts, seeds, or even one-fourth of an avocado.
TIP: Choose plant-based milks over cow’s milk to prevent the consumption of cholesterol, saturated fat, and harmful growth hormones found in dairy products.
2. I don't want fries with that.
When eating at full-service restaurants, consider swapping salads or green veggies for fries or other sides. Look for options that provide darker greens as opposed to iceberg lettuce, which is one of the least nutritious leafy greens. Red Robin provides an option for bottomless steamed broccoli in lieu of bottomless fries.
TIP: A squeeze of fresh lemon and a grind of pepper provide a little zest to your cruciferous complements. Your server will happily bring you some lemon wedges.
3. Sensible sensational salads
Salad combinations are infinite. You can get creative by combining different types of greens, beans, tomatoes, nuts, seeds, and even fruit. You can make meals out of Mexican-themed salads with black beans, corn, avocado, and salsa. Italian-themed salads can include green peppers, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
TIP: Consider oil-free dressings or vinegars as opposed to dairy or otherwise creamy dressings, which may have high concentrations of fat, especially plaque-inducing saturated fat.
4. Where do I get my protein?
Americans have an unwarranted obsession with protein. Only 3% of Americans are deficient in protein, and all plant-foods have amino acids in various proportions. If you eat a variety of whole plant foods, your protein consumption is more than likely just fine. Edamame is a whole-plant food that is high in all essential amino acids. Quinoa has similar qualities, making it a great base grain for protein bowls (although it is technically a seed).
TIP: To add a little bit more protein punch, consider eating protein bowls that combine greens and other veggies with healthy amounts of beans, peas, lentils, or quinoa.
5. Become a Whole Harvest customer!
Whole Harvest is proud to introduce a menu providing fresh, healthy greens. Get ready-to-eat healthy food delivered to your door. Watch Chef Richard teach us the secret to making nutrient-dense, flavorful, fresh green meals.