Ninety-five percent of the time, I get my dark leafy greens from green smoothies. The sweet flavor of fruits like banana, pineapple mango and peach hide the bitter greens. I get super nutrition and delicious flavor. It’s a win-win situation!
But sometimes I don’t have access to a blender, or I want something savory. Below are five additional ways I get in my leafy greens when I don’t drink a green smoothie (and no, salad isn’t on the list).
This article is also for those who are diabetic and need to watch carbohydrate intake (see Green Smoothies for Diabetes), as well as rare conditions like fructose malabsorption.
1 – Blended Soups
If you’re in the mood for something savory, then try a blended vegetable soup. Unlike a green smoothie, blended soups use vegetables primarily, with fresh herbs tying the flavors together. Blended soups are made using your blender. You can add small amounts of mild-flavored greens such as fresh baby spinach to a blended soup. Even fresh baby kale can add a green kick to your soup. However, be careful not to go overboard on the greens or your soup may come out too bitter.
2 – Green Juices
If light and refreshing is what you crave, then try a green juice. You can either make a whole juice using your blender, or make a traditional juice using a juicer (I have an Omega J8005 Single-Gear Masticating Juicer). You can add spinach or baby kale to green juices, and if you’re feeling brave, try a little dandelion greens. Just be sure to use some citrus and at least one other sweet fruit to offset the bitter greens. One of my favorite green juice add-ins is fresh ginger, which ties the sweet fruit and bitter greens together into a deliciously complex flavor!
3 – Raw Food Meals
On of the big benefits of green smoothies is that you are consuming fresh, leafy greens in their raw state. While you could simply eat a large salad, there are some fun and delicious ways to eat greens without feeling like a rabbit.
Try a raw vegan lasagna recipe that uses a hearty layer of finely shredded spinach. You can also make sandwiches and wraps using collard greens or romaine lettuce.
4 – Kale Chips
For a fun, crunchy snack, try making kale chips. You’ll need a dehydrator, but the recipe couldn’t be easier. Simply marinate kale into a homemade blend of herbs and spices and dehydrate until crispy.
5 – Steamed Greens
Another healthy way to get your greens is to steam them. Two of my favorite greens to steam are spinach and kale, which are absolutely delicious as a side to any meal. Steaming is one of the least destructive cooking methods since few nutrients are leached out into water or discarded sauce. Also, steaming doesn’t denature important minerals – which are the main reasons for eating leafy greens in the first place.
While green smoothies are the easiest and most delicious way to eat your greens, don’t hesitate to branch out and try other ways to get your daily serving of leafy greens.