After a short discussion with a co-worker today, I was inspired to blog about vegetables.
With help from Wikipedia.
Cause Wikipedia is always right 🙂
Mother’s Day just passed and the mother in me won’t be satisfied until I get to tell you to eat those greens!
Dark green vegetables can really intimidate people; especially those of you that think iceberg, romaine and carrots are providing you with the nutrients you need.
Let’s take a look at the ANDI chart:
“But Sam, romaine and iceberg are still in green.”
Don’t get your panties in a bunch; I’m about to learn you some knowledge. There’s a reason those ones on the top left have substantially higher scores.
Health nuts have been buzzing about kale for a while, and it’s becoming the most mainstream of all the leafy greens.
Too bad it’s such a bitch to cook with. Seriously kale, WTF.
Luckily there are plenty of other greens you can learn to cook with while you get used to kale.
Cause you will eat kale.
and like it.
But for serious…
For anyone afraid of the bitterness of dark greens, spinach is a great place to start.
I should know; I trained the ex to eat vegetables this way.
Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s easy to eat raw or cooked, and is the most mild of all greens when blended into a smoothie. My only reservation about spinach is that the crops seem to get tainted a lot, so please be cautious when buying spinach and wash it thoroughly.
Actually, follow that rule of thumb for all your greens, and if you can, buy organic.
Once you’ve mastered spinach…
Try your hand at chard!
I know, chard probably looks intimidating. It’s big and green and the stems can be pretty rough.
But chard contains good-for-you things like vitamin c, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin A, B-complex vitamins and omega 6 fatty acids!
AWESOME, I KNOW!!!
Chard’s large size makes it an awesome wrap substitute; all you have to do is remove the really hard part of the stem, insert desired filling, and wrap!
Chopped up and raw, it’s great to have in salad and it won’t overwhelm with toughness or bitterness.
Next up to try: collard greens.
I know what you’re thinking, and that’s racist.
Raw collards are not my cup of tea, so I highly recommend you sautee them with olive/coconut oil, some onions, salt and pepper, and for my paleo friends, some sulfate-free and pastured bacon 🙂
Once you’ve mastered these, you can proudly move on to kale.
Kale can be eaten raw, but it takes some finesse. She likes to be wooed and massaged.
No, I’m not kidding.
Fill your sink with warm water and give your kale a good soak while massaging the leaves. This gets rid of a lot of the toughness.
Use a salad spinner (or a towel) and dry your kale.
From here, you can do so many things!
If you need to trick yourself into it for a while, check out this post: sneaky kale recipes
If you’re still complaining, there’s no hope you for. Stop complaining so much. Life is too short.
Now, you’ll notice that calcium pops up a lot in these dark greens. While snarky skeptics like to tell me it’s not in high enough amounts compared to dairy products, I just smile. They’re not stupid, just misled and brainwashed by the dairy council.
Fun fact: Milk actually leeches calcium from your bones (along with Vitamin D and sugar), so you’re really not battling osteoporosis with that ice cream.
Leafy greens are the best vegetable choice whether you’re vegan, paleo, or are just eating a salad on a dare.
So make mom proud and eat your veggies. Your bones (and waistline) will thank you.
I double-dog dare you to eat a salad.