Eat Your Leafy Greens
This weeks post was brought to you by another wonderful Columbia’s Cooking Volunteer!
Leafy green vegetables are full of fiber, many different vitamins and minerals, and plant based substances that can protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and potentially even cancer! Despite these benefits studies show that Americans aren’t eating as many vegetables, especially leafy greens, every day as health care providers and dietary experts recommend. There are many different kinds of leafy greens that you can try. They each have different textures and flavors but all can easily be incorporated into dishes or made into salads! Here are some examples of leafy greens and the health benefits of each!
Kale: An excellent source of Vitamin A, C, K, and calcium, kale can help support bone growth, immune system health, and protect against cardiovascular disease while only having 15 calories per half cup!
Collard Greens: While similar in nutritional benefits as kale, collard greens have a heartier and chewier texture with a cabbage like taste. The wide leaves of collard greens can be used as a substitute for a tortilla shell when making wraps! A half-cup of collard greens only has 25 calories!
Turnip Greens: This green is low in calories, with only 17 per cup, but loaded with Vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium. Eating turnip greens can promote good bone health, healthy vision, and immune system function!
Spinach: Whether you eat spinach raw or cooked, it contains high levels of Vitamin A, C, and folate, and only has 20 calories per serving. Folate promotes heart health and can decrease your risk of stroke! Cooked spinach is considered to have more nutritional benefit than raw spinach, because heat reduces oxalates found in spinach, therefore increasing the available calcium.
Red, Green and Romaine Lettuce: There are many different kinds of lettuces that contain nutritional benefit; arugula, romaine, and butter head. These types of lettuce are also rich in Vitamin A, C, and K. Iceberg is not one of these lettuces, and contains almost no nutritional benefit.
Increasing your dietary intake of these greens can have such a positive impact on your health and is a way to take preventative measures against many diseases!
Here is a recipe found from the Minimalist Baker that is a great source of leafy greens that I made and really enjoyed! I hope you enjoy the pictures!
Apple Pecan and Arugula Salad
- ½ cup raw pecans
- 7 oz arugula
- 2 small apples (1 tart and 1 sweet) — I used 1 granny smith and 1 pink lady — peel, quarter, core and thinly slice lengthwise
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- optional: 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- 3 Tbsp of olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Put pecans on bare baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes
While pecans are baking, prep salad ingredients in large mixing bowl
Prepare dressing in a mixing bowl or a mason jaw. Whisk or shake to combine ingredients
Add pecans to salad mix and top with dressing
Toss to combine and serve immediately! Enjoy!
- Nutrition Information: (1/4 of recipe with dressing)
- Calories: 258
- Fat: 20g (Saturated 2.5g)
- Carbohydrates: 20.9g
- Sugar: 14.6g
- Sodium: 17 mg
- Fiber: 4.7g
- Protein: 3g
I hope that everyone has a good week!
Lynae Beresford and the Columbia’s Cooking Team