For those who really need a boost

BY SAMANTHA WRIGHT 

CENTURIES AGO, Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) said, “Let food be your medicine, and let medicine be your food.” This statement emphasized the healing power of a nutritious diet. And if you want the best, go green. Experts agree that dark green, leafy vegetables (fresh and organic) are the nutritional powerhouse. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, dark green leaves are great for your body and gentle on your budget. Plus, they’re easy to slip into your diet (think tasty smoothies, mouth-watering salads, succulent casseroles, yummy soups, and hearty sauces). To top it off, there are many options to choose from. Here are some of our favorites, and tips on how to prepare them.

KALE 
With kale, the sky is the limit. You can make kale chips, kale pesto, kale quiche, kale soup, kale lasagna, kale slaw, kale juice, and kale pizza. You can also add a cup to your pasta, or sauté a serving with oil, garlic, and seasonings.

kale

RADISH GREENS
Don’t be so quick to throw this treasure away. Radish greens are a member of the “bitter family,” but they’re definitely a winner. The key is to mince and blend them with delicious items (such as goat cheese dip, whipped feta spread, salad dressing, or a creamy sauce).

radishgreens

SPINACH
Don’t get carried away with cooking, boiling, or baking this leafy green. 

spinach

Many of the beneficial nutrients in spinach are sensitive to heat. So it’s best to eat your spinach raw, or lightly steamed. Use it in your salads; stuff it in your sandwiches, burritos, tacos, and wraps; and blend it in your smoothies.

collardgreen

COLLARD GREENS
Collard greens are a southern American favorite, and a cholesterol- buster – well, that is, if you don’t soak them in grease or pork fat. Unlike kale and spinach, they don’t quickly break down when sautéed or steamed. They maintain their shape and texture, even after cooking them for a long period of time. Add collard greens to gumbo, tofu, and stuffed peppers. You can even skip a tortilla, and use raw leafy greens to make collard wraps.

MUSTARD GREENS
This mighty fella has a reputation for being bitter. But first impressions aren’t always the best. The peppery flavor of mustard greens can add a nice kick to many meals – and, depending on your


mustardgreenpalate, you can choose either tender leaves (generally milder) or mature leaves (stronger in flavor). To tame the bitterness, add enhancers (such as heat, olive oil, toasted nuts, prosciutto, soy sauce, sesame oil, or caramelized onions).

SWISS CHARD
This one is tough – literally. You should cook Swiss chard to tenderize the hardy, fibrous stem (yes, the stem is edible and very nutritious). Soften it with a warm vinaigrette, or elevate the flavor with delectable ingredients (such as pine nuts, golden raisins, crème fraiche, seasonal wild mushrooms, and rich sauces).

swisschard

beetgreens

BEET GREENS
Commonly underestimated and discarded, beet greens can go wherever your taste buds take you. Fold them in an omelette, toss them in stir-fry, mix them with curry – oh, the possibilities are endless! But don’t overcook them. They are delicate, surprisingly sweet, and quite delicious. c

 

   


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