Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Simple Ways to Enjoy Leafy Greens

 

Leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses, so it’s a good idea to eat more of them — the darker in color the better!

Low in calories and high in nutrients, leafy greens really give you bang for your buck. Add kale, collards, watercress, spinach, bok choy, Swiss chard, arugula, cabbage, romaine lettuce and more to your plate to give your new year a healthy kick start.

Eat a large green salad every day! Mix and match your favorite lettuce with greens like kale, spinach, arugula and watercress, adding a colorful mix of other vegetables for visual and flavorful variety.

Here are a handful of other simple ways to incorporate more leafy greens into your daily menu:

Serve your favorite soup, beans or chili (canned is fine) over a bowl of raw tender greens such as spinach, watercress, Napa cabbage or arugula. The warmth of the soup will wilt the greens and make them more tender.

  • Blend fresh or frozen greens like spinach or kale with your favorite fruit and almond milk, soy milk or yogurt for a smoothie.
  • Add chopped greens like bok choy, chard, kale or cabbage to a stir-fry.
  • Sauté onions and garlic in a bit of broth or olive oil, add kale, chard, broccoli rabe, mustard greens or collards and cook until tender.
  • Add leafy greens to sandwiches — go for tender greens like watercress, baby spinach or arugula or simply wilt heartier greens first.
  • Use large, flat-leaf greens like romaine lettuce or steamed collards as you would a tortilla to create healthier wraps.
  • Add sautéed greens like chard and broccoli rabe to cooked whole-grain pasta dressed with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil and a light grating of Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Chop and stir greens like spinach, kale, collards and bok choy into soups, stews and pasta sauces, cooking until tender.

Bonus tip: Leafy greens top the ANDI chart with the highest ANDI scores. (ANDI scores measure nutrient density — how many nutrients you get for each calorie.) Eating plenty of leafy greens is your best bet for packing more nutrients into your diet.

We've picked a few of our favorite recipes to help you get more leafy greens into your diet each day.

Do you have a favorite leafy greens recipe? We'd love to hear it.