In our current society, there are countless diets and fitness gurus seducing us with promises of the perfect body, glowing skin and boundless energy. Sifting through all the health-related noise can be confusing, and many of us find ourselves slicing into a frozen pizza just to cope with it all.
However, a timeless truth that lives in any healthy diet is a need to eat our greens. Whether you’re keto, paleo, vegan, or an all out eat-anything-carnivore, greens are a vital component to good health and are packed with necessary vitamins and nutrients; however, many of us have trouble knowing how, when and where to fit leafy greens into our meals.
This article will provide you with five tips to guarantee that no matter how you eat, getting your daily greens can be simple and delicious.
Use Fresh Greens As A Pizza Topping
Perhaps the most popular guilty pleasure of all savory foods is pizza. We eat it, we love it, and later we regret it since it’s generally regarded as a less-than-healthy option.
Instead of tossing the pizza out altogether, try tossing a handful of spinach or arugula on top before or after baking to add a healthful boost to America’s favorite food. For an even better tasting option, take a few moments to toss the greens in olive oil with salt, pepper and lemon juice. That will enhance the flavor of the greens and add some pep to the whole pizza. Transform your guilty pleasure into a guilt-free experience.
This tip can be used for a variety of other popular dishes. Try adding a handful of greens to any of these common meals as well:
Chop Fresh Greens For Garnish
What if you don’t want to notice the greens? You know you need to eat them, but you’re just not a fan of that arugula bite or the leafy texture of spinach.
Try using the greens as a garnish, just as you would fresh herbs. You can chop lots of greens in advance and have them on hand near the spices so that for every dish, you’re ready to sprinkle them on top.
You could also chop them ‘to order’ with any meal you prepare. Scrambled eggs? Garnish with greens. Pasta with sauce? Chopped greens on top. Not only will you get the benefit of sneaking those greens into your meal, you’ll also turn an everyday plate of food into a restaurant-quality (or Instagram-worthy) presentation.
Some garnishable greens include:
- Green Onion/Scallions
- Fresh Herbs such as Cilantro, Parsley, Dill, or Mint
Add Greens To Smoothies
This suggestion is underrated in its ease and efficiency.
Spinach is a relatively bland green, so adding it to your morning smoothie will improve the nutritional value without compromising taste. Pump up a fruit smoothie with a bit of color, or try all greens with spinach, kale, green tea, milk of choice, and a little honey or agave for sweetness. Power up your day and ride the “I ate my veggies” high all the way to lunch time.
Bonus Pro Tip: use a powdered greens add-in, such as Orgain Organics Superfoods, for a more powerful impact on your smoothies. You could also add any of the following:
Serve Proteins On A Bed of Greens
I keep fresh spinach, arugula, or a greens mix in my fridge at all times for this purpose. Whether it’s steak, fish, chicken, eggs, or tofu, any protein can easily be served on a bed of greens. Just place a handful of your greens of choice on the plate and serve your main dish right on top.
It looks stunning, and instead of forcing down a salad, you can pick up a few greens on your fork with every bite of protein. The greens are hardly noticeable, and yet you feel better about the entire meal knowing you’ve had them.
Feel free to toss the greens in a flavoring mix before topping. Toss with:
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
- Lemon juice and honey
- Ranch dressing
- A vinaigrette
Steam And Add Butter
At least once a day, you’ll want to have more than fresh greens on your plate. That’s where green vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, and brussel sprouts, come in to play. Steaming veggies is not only simple; this method uses indirect heat, which allows the vegetables to retain most of their vital nutrients.
Steaming veggies is as easy as boiling water and using a colander or steamer basket to hover the greens above the water. Top with a lid, and leave it there to steam while you prepare everything else. Once you’re ready, remove the greens from the steam, toss with some butter and salt, and you’ll have a surprisingly delicious side of veggies for any entree.
Some greens to steam:
- Sliced Brussel Sprouts
- Bok Choy
We all want to be healthy; we also want to enjoy the process and love what we’re eating. These tips allow you to improve the quality of your meals while still enjoying the delicious dishes you already love. Remember to add something green to everything, and you’ll be well on your way to the healthiest version of you that you can be.