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Kale and Dark Leafy Greens Your Family Will Love

We’ve all heard we should add more dark leafy greens to our diets. But the word that is often left out of that sentence is “dark”.

The leafy greens that are most consumed – lettuce – unfortunately, are the lowest in nutrients. But greens like kale, collards, mustard greens and swiss chard are packed full of important nutrients like:

  • anti-oxidants that help your eyes, immune system and skin
  • minerals, like potassium, that are important for your bones and your nerves
  • compounds to help support your liver
  • and kale is rich in folate which is essential for healthy hormones and brain chemistry.

Here are 4 simple ideas to get you started on incorporating these power-house foods into your life. Please share your ideas in the comment section below.

The Secret to Tender Greens

Kale and collard leaves have a stem that is pretty tough so you’ll want to “de-bone” them. Use a sharp knife to cut out the center stem out before cooking. I usually fold the leaf in half so the stem is exposed then just make one slice to remove the stem.

Be sure to wash greens thoroughly in a sink of cold water first – not only does it remove dirt and grit but it rehydrates limp leaves.

Recipes

  1. Green drinks can be a great way to increase the nutrient level of your diet. However, if you have a thyroid condition you may want to limit the amount of raw kale you consume. Here’s a simple Green Drink:

    6-8 kale leaves
    1 English cucumber (or 2 Persian cucumbers)
    2 apples
    4 stalks celery
    1/2 lemon (with zest removed)

     

  2. (Sweetish) Saute:  Dice half a sweet onion ad saute in olive oil until translucent. Wash, de-bone and roughly chop a bunch of kale. Add the kale to the onions and stir to coat in oil. Add 2 tsp balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes covered. When kale is soft add 1/4 of pine nuts and 1/4 of currants. Cook for another couple minutes. Yum!

     

  3. Savory Saute:  Wash, de-bone and chop a bunch of collard greens or mustard greens.  Cook a few slices of grass-fed pork bacon in a stock pot and set bacon aside. Retain a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pot and add a couple cloves of minced garlic. Saute till fragrant, then add the chopped greens and stir to coat the leaves. Add a tablespoon of water or broth and cover the pot. When greens are soft add the chopped bacon. Optional – sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.
  4. Simple Swiss Chard – wash thoroughly and don’t remove stems. Just cut the lower stems into small, 1/2″ thick slices. roughly chop the rest. Steam for about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Enjoy!

 

Would love to hear how you get dark leafy greens in your diet. Share your comments below!

 

When you need natural solutions, click here to find out how Functional Medicine can help you. Take our Nutritional Profile Quiz and get your results immediately.

 

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Dr. Marina Rose helps both men and  women with nutritional and hormones imbalances in and around the city of Sunnyvale, CA by addressing the underlying cause.

 

 

 

9 Comments

  • LRFontaine

    Reply Reply August 13, 2013

    Soup! I have found that vegetables are easier for me to consume in soup or stew. See recipe below:
    Toscana Soup
    Ingredients:
    12 links chicken Italian sausage (mild or spicy)
    1 Tbls Vegetable or Olive oil
    3/4 cup diced onion
    1-1/4 teas minced garlic
    3 cups chicken broth & 1 cup water (or 2 & 2)
    2 potatoes, halved & sliced
    2 cups Kale
    1/3 cup cream or milk (you can leave out if dairy sensitive)
    Directions:
    Preheat oven 300*
    Bake sausage on baking sheet 25-30 min until no pink in center
    Heat oil in saucepan (medium heat) and saute onion until translucent
    Add garlic; saute 1 more minute
    Stir in broth, water and potatoes; Simmer 15 min
    Reduce heat to low and sausage (sliced), kale and cream; simmer until heated through.
    YUM!

    • Marina Rose

      Reply Reply August 13, 2013

      Yum! Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to trying this one.

  • Kevin

    Reply Reply August 13, 2013

    How do I get leafy greens into my diet? I cook them and eat them!

    • Marina Rose

      Reply Reply August 13, 2013

      Cool! Simple is good 🙂

  • Fred

    Reply Reply August 13, 2013

    Do spinach and dandelion greens qualify as ‘dark leafy greens’?

    • Marina Rose

      Reply Reply August 13, 2013

      Yes, they sure do. Dandelion greens are especially good for your heart, gallbladder and liver. I put small amounts in salads or in tomato sauce. What do you do with them?

  • Silke

    Reply Reply August 28, 2013

    I steam Kale in veggie broth, makes it taste delicious.
    My new favorite for broccoli: cut, wash and put in ziplock bag with Olive oil and spices to your liking (don’t use too little or too much oil, less is more as the veggies can get too soggy if you overdo the oil). Shake them up until the mix of oil and spices is mixed in with the broccoli.
    Take them out of the ziplock bag and put on baking sheet.
    In preheated 375 oven bake for about 20min.
    The broccoli will be flavorful and crunchy, great substitute for my favorite vice (potato chips…).
    Great snack or meal.
    Even my husband who doesn’t really like broccoli LOVES it this way!:)

    • Marina Rose

      Reply Reply August 28, 2013

      Yum, that broccoli sounds great. I love recipes with only 3 ingredients 🙂 The “less is more” idea is a good tip.

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