How to add more leafy green veggies to your diet

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Jess Turner

Nine tips for including more leafy greens in your diet from our registered dietitians. This is how to eat leafy green veggies for every meal in your day and thrive!

Numerous studies have shown that eating a plant-based diet, which includes leafy green vegetables, as well as beans, whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds, provides many health benefits.

Leafy green veggies are an important part of our diet, helping us thrive, and containing important antioxidants and fiber. So, when trying a vegan diet, many people ask how they can add more nutrition-packed leafy greens to their diets.

How do we do it? It isn’t always easy. Hate mushy vegetables and bland side dishes? We put our greens in the spotlight, play with texture, bring out the natural flavor, and play with our food until we have something delicious and nutritious!

Here are our 9 tips to eat your greens:

1. Add a familiar leafy green vegetable such as spinach to your weekly menu, and also challenge yourself to choose one you haven’t tried before, such as kale, chard, bok choy or beet greens. All these vegetables are nutrition powerhouses and there are so many different ways to enjoy them.

2. Take advantage of packaged pre-washed greens that are ready to eat. It may cost a bit more, but the convenience of having the vegetable cleaned and cut up for you may be worth the money. It’s more likely the vegetable will make its way onto your dinner plate. Spinach, baby kale or microgreens are much easier to throw into sandwiches, wraps or even meal prep like this!

3. Make an effort to include them in your diet every day. Pulse into smoothies for breakfast or a healthy pick-me-up! Add fresh greens to a high-powered blender, along with whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have on hand. You can use a plant-based milk, water or coconut water to for additional nutrients, but the liquid also helps the ingredients blend easier.

4. Buy frozen greens. Frozen veggies are just as healthy and nutritious as fresh veggies, are a great time saver, and are always on-hand even when your pantry is empty! All these benefits make them a cinch to season and microwave, or simply add a bag to soups or stews.

5. Add leafy greens to your dinner every day: pasta, soups, curries, stir-fries, tacos… At dinnertime, add fresh or frozen vegetables to whatever you’re enjoying that day. Greens can be added on top of veggie burgers, as part of a veggie sandwich, in lasagna, even chopped and added on top of pizza. Green veg works especially well with anything tomato-based.

6. And make a habit of enjoying a large dinner salad which includes all your favorites. A tasty salad dressing can help a lot here!

7. For lunch or snack, add greens to make a wrap. Spread hummus on the inside of a warm tortilla, add salad greens or leftover greens from the previous night’s dinner, shredded carrots and sliced olives for a delicious, easy lunch or snack. To step up your game a bit, use a collard green leaf as the wrap. Your collard green leaf can be briefly steamed or not.

8. Sauces are also a great place to blend leafy green veg for a sneaky nutritional boost – for example, kale pesto or creamy spinach sauce. This means that anyone who doesn’t like the texture of certain veg can enjoy the nutritional benefits in a tasty way.

9. If all else fails, or you have some picky kids to convince, sneak problem greens into curries, stews, or blended soups. You’ll get all the benefit of your leafy greens in a tasty plant-based meal you can really get excited about!

Including leafy green vegetables in your diet is a great way to add important antioxidants and fiber to your diet. But these nine healthy tips will not just help you eat your greens and nourish your body, they are also a treat for your taste buds!

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