Leafy greens are no stranger to my plate (or bowl, or glass). As you may know, I’m kind of a big fan of them. They’re packed with nutrients and fiber, making them both good for you and satiating. Beyond that, I think they’re pretty damn tasty. Leafy greens are basically akin to salt and pepper in our house. They get put on, under, or wrapped around pretty much everything.
I’ve pulled together for your reading pleasure, the 10 best ways for getting more leafy greens into your own diet. I do almost all of these things on a regular basis, so they’re tried and true delicious ways for getting more folate, vitamin A, and choline (along with a host of other nutrients!) into your diet. Read on and enjoy!
1. Incorporate them into your breakfast
Last year I developed a minor intolerance to eggs. This may seem unrelated, but let me tell you that I was really throwing them back before that time. I loved the convenience, nutrition, and tastiness that a simple egg imparts. While I still eat them from time to time, no longer am I eating three or more every day. This sudden restriction in what I could have as a healthy breakfast was a blessing, because it made me realize how totally awesome it is to have leafy greens for breakfast!
Friday morning breakfast before grocery shopping – you can tell by all the random af stuff on my plate 😳 Some sauteed dandelion greens, a roasted red bell pepper, and some leftover jerk pork. Pretty tasty! #breakfastofchampions #breakfast #paleo #primaldiet #whole30 #lowcarb #jerf #eatrealfood #realfood #food #foodie #instafood #foodstagram #healthyeating #healthyfood #healthyfoodshare
Lately I’ve been eating collards or kale sautéed with radishes and whatever leftover protein I may have laying around (*cough* meatballs *cough*) and I’m off. But I’ve also been known to fix myself up a nice breakfast salad and have raw arugula or spinach.
2. Add them to soups and stews
This one seems like a no brainer, but just know that throwing a single handful of spinach into your chicken soup isn’t really going to help you get all the folate you need. Don’t be shy, and add 3-4 cups of greens to your soups or stews. It cooks down nicely so there will still be plenty of room for other good stuff!
3. Leafy green juice!
Ok, that’s probably not the most appealing way to put it. But they’re actually very tasty, and are a great source of leafy greens when veggies in general may be sparse (like when traveling). I look for green juices that have no added fruit juice, because I’d rather just eat the fruit itself and skip the liquid calories.
4. Add handfuls to your post-workout smoothie
I’m not a huge smoothie fan, but when I do enjoy them, I’m always sure to include a heaping pile of kale or spinach. I know this trend is pretty thoroughly played out at this point, but if you’re going to have a smoothie, it’s still a no brainer to add some leafy greens to the blender!
5. Wrap your sandwich in them
Low-carbers are very familiar with this strategy – lettuce wrapped burgers have become so ubiquitous that even fast food joints don’t bat an eye if you ask for a lettuce wrapped burger. Some good romaine lettuce does the job quite nicely. But a great alternative is wrapping your sandwich or tuna salad in a collard leaf. Super sturdy and crunchy, this is my new preferred way to eat a sandwich.
6. Make them into chips
Kale chips are pretty much the go to for this method right? I actually haven’t experimented with any other type of green for these, but kale is so deliciously crunchy when roasted in the oven, there doesn’t really need to be a second option. I like to add some cayenne along with salt and pepper for spicy kale chips. I’ve even dipped them in ranch dressing!
7. Eat more salads
Probably the most “duh” item on the list, but it’s worth adding here. I used to reserve salads as the main meal, but lately I’ve been making a habit of eating all of my dinners with a small salad, regardless of what else I’m eating. Sometimes it’s just arugula and cucumber, and sometimes it gets more elaborate with roasted veggies, olives, and a special dressing, all over oil-massaged kale.
Sunday dinner: crispy shredded rabbit, sweet potato fries, and a strawberry cucumber salad! 🥗 • #dinner #dinnertime #paleo #primaldiet #whole30 #healthyeating #healthyfoodshare #health #foodie #foodstagram #simplefood #eatyourgreens #eatyourveggies #leafygreens #diet #salad #eatyourgreens #leafygreens #eatyourveggies #jerf #eatrealfood #realfood #healthyfood
8. Add them to your stir-fries
Everyone loves stir-fries as the quick n dirty weeknight meal. I’ve really taken to them because they’re a great vehicle for all of the collard greens I’ve been buying! Spinach, kale, chard, and mustard greens are also winners, as they can withstand the heat of the pan.
9. Use them as a low-carb alternative to rice
When I’m keeping it lower carb (on my least active days), I discovered that adding a bed of hearty sauteed leafy greens is a great alternative to rice when it comes to soaking up stir-fry sauce or curries. I’ve only tried this with curly kale so far, but the results were amazing!
10. Make them the base of every meal
At the end of the day, you don’t have to be super fancy with how you eat your leafy greens. It can be easy as throwing down a bed of spinach or arugula and placing whatever it is that you cooked on top. Some days that’s all I have the energy to do anyway!
That classic combo of Rogan Josh and oven fries 🤔 … Maybe a little weird but it was really tasty! I was craving fries so I baked some seasoned white potato slices while the main dish was going in the instant pot 👌 … #dinnertime #dinner #jerf #eatrealfood #realfood #broccoli #carbs #paleo #whole30 #primaldiet #food #foodie #instafood #instayum #foodstagram #eatyourveggies #healthyeating #healthyfood #healthyfoodshare #leafygreens
How do you eat your greens? Let me know in the comments! There are so many great ways to incorporate them into your diet!