Here's the scenario... You head to your local farmer's market with your canvas tote and abundant healthy eating intentions. You come home with green glowing bunches of kale, spinach and maybe even some lesser-known items like dandelion greens and watercress and excitedly put them in the fridge. Two weeks later, you are pulling their brown, soggy carcasses out of the back of the shelf and feeling intense "arugula angst." Sound familiar? If so, you will appreciate these easy tips for making sure your gorgeous greens don't end up in your compost!
1. Wash and Store Right Away
Right when you get home, wash your greens in a salad spinner and pat dry with a towel. Take extra good care with greens grown in sand like spinach as well as those from your local farm to make sure to avoid any critters. The best way to deep clean greens is to place a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in your greens' cold water bath and let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. Store greens in a glass container with a few non-toxic paper towels to keep them fresh the longest.
2. A Lemony Saute
One of the easiest ways to enjoy your greens is to saute them in a bit of garlic, olive oil and your favorite nut or seed for added flavor. The key is to sprinkle them with lemon and/or lemon zest (grated rind) and a sprinkle of sea salt immediately prior to serving. If you have picky eaters around, you can always sprinkle in some crispy bacon bits for extra yum!
Kale is an excellent green leafy to saute as consuming too much of the raw version can possibly exacerbate thyroid symptoms. A good guideline to follow is about half of your leafy greens raw and about half cooked and aim for four to six servings of leafy greens each day (a serving of cooked greens is 1/2 cup, raw is 1 cup).
3. Juicer's Delight
Whenever I get overwhelmed by the greens in my fridge, I immediately turn to my Breville juicer or Vitamix and buzz up an energizing juice. A green juice is so readily absorbable that it can provide an instant boost and can aid in detox by helping to support the blood, liver, digestive tract, and kidneys. Unlike a fruit juice which is high in sugar, green juices are alkalizing and can help support stable blood sugar. If you are adding fruit, make sure you are using no more than a 1:3 ratio of fruit to greens and aim to use low-glycemic fruits like lemons, limes and green apples.
An easy, but delicious green juice recipe:
- 5 stalks celery
- 1 head spinach or any lettuce
- 1 bunch arugula
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (or basil or parsley)
- 1 lemon
- 1 Granny Smith apple
Run ingredients through a juicer and enjoy immediately.
Other recipes I adore:
- Rebecca Katz' Triple Greens Frittata
- Green Goddess Cobb Salad
- Greens with Fruit and Mustard Vinaigrette
So enjoy your greens and shine bright with all those phytonutrients!