It seems like every time I research NUTRITIONAL information...
I always find the same one clear message when it comes to healthy eating:
Eat Your GREEN VEGETABLES!
If this is SO important for our HEALTH- what are some ways we can accomplish this on a daily basis? Here are some ideas we MOMMIES like to do:
There is one food that scientific research has shown has a strong positive association with increased LONGEVITY in humans:
DARK LEAFY GREENS: Romaine, Kale, Collards, Swiss Chard, Spinach and Mustard Greens.
These are the healthiest FOODS on the planet! They are the most NUTRIENT DENSE foods- of all the foods! They have 10 times more nutrients per calorie than any other food. Whether they are RAW or COOKED- they are at the top!
So...what are some ways we can EAT THESE DAILY?
1. GREEN SMOOTHIES!
This is an EASY way for to eat A LOT of greens. I stuff as much SPINACH and/or KALE in my blender as I can (1/3 to 1/2 lb.) Check out our GREEN drink recipes! Or create your own. My children LOVE the Green Fruit Smoothie recipe! I tell them it is a MAGIC smoothie- if you drink it, it will make you SO STRONG! For my one child who sometimes thinks "green" is gross- I let them drink it through a solid sippy cup- so they can't see the color
Ways to Make a GREEN fruit smoothie:
|Choose a Liquid:||Water, ICE, Soy/Rice/Almond Milk, Orange/Pineapple Juice or GRAPES|
Choose some Fruit:
(it's best to have some frozen)
Apple, Banana, Pineapple, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries,
Peaches, Mangos and Cherries, etc.
|Choose a GREEN:||Spinach, Romaine or Kale (these are my favorites)|
* ALWAYS ADD A SMALL SLICE OF LEMON!
2. RAW GREENS!
Try adding a new Dark Leafy Green to your salad mix. I have been using MUSTARD GREENS- and I love it! I use half romaine, half mustard greens. I chop up my mustard greens extra small- so it is easier to chew (be sure to remove the thick vein that runs through the center. I find it much easier to chew than kale- and I think it tastes better!
Ideas for SALAD toppings: Bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onion, carrot, crushed raw almonds, sliced apples or pears.
*I like to use a homemade mustard flavored vinaigrette- which isn't necessarily healthy...but I limit the amount I use- and it makes my salad SO YUMMY!
TRY EATING A WHOLE ENGLISH CUCUMBER FOR A QUICK AND EASY SNACK! IT FILLS ME UP- AND IS SO YUMMY! WHEN MY KIDS SEE ME EATING MY CUCUMBER- MORE OFTEN THAN NOT THEY WANT SOME TOO. WE HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO PASS IT AROUND UNTIL IT IS GONE
3. COOKED GREENS
Sometimes if I haven't had enough "GREEN" during the day, before I eat any of my dinner...I eat a HUGE bowl of steamed broccoli (1/2 lb-1 lb). Then I eat the rest of my meal. My kids are used to steamed broccoli on the dinner table. Sometimes it is a struggle to have them eat it...but when they are hungry enough- they gobble it right up!
Broccoli and Green Bean Medley
Cooked Collard Greens:
This is probably my least favorite way to eat my "greens", but it is the most effective when I am low on my "GREEN". I am currently nursing my third child- and this is an amazing way to immediately enhance my milk supply!
1 large bunch of collard greens (or less, depending on who is eating)
Cut or pull away the leaves from the stem before washing. Wash greens carefully.
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Submerge the whole leaves of the greens. Tougher leaves (such as mature collards or kale) need to be cooked for 3-4 minutes.
Timing is everything. If you remove the greens too soon they will be bitter. If you let them cook too long they will lose nutrients and have a flat taste. Remove a piece and test every 30 seconds or so. You are looking for a slightly wilted leaf that still has a bright green color and (most important) a good flavor.
Pour cooked greens into a colander and let cool slightly. Squeeze out excess water with your hands. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Serve with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar.
4. Add GREENS to any meal!
An easy way to get my kids to eat their DARK LEAFY GREENS is to add them to my meals. I chop the collards or kale very very small and they go great with just about anything! Or I wilt the spinach along with the meal. I add them to our VEGGIE SPAGHETTI, our VEGETABLE RICE or POTATO, our FAJITAS, our VEGGIE POT PIE or any of our SOUPS.
Green vegetables are the KEY! The QUALITY of your diet depends on the amount of GREENS you eat daily! Any other ideas on how to eat your greens? Let me know!