There is a sense of being grounded and refreshed when the first green sprouts of the season arrive in our forests and gardens. The multi-tonal hues from lime to seaweed green each give a promise of nourishment and growth. As fall and colder temperatures are around the corner, our dark leafy greens are some of the last left standing in the garden.
Green vegetables boast various minerals including iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamins including vitamins C, K, E and various B vitamins. As non-starchy vegetables, they also provide a wonderful source of fibre which is well-studied for its role in cancer prevention. Generally speaking, the darker the colour of green, the richer the nutrients.
Leafy greens bring to mind mixed salads and the mighty spinach. There are several others that are nutrient-dense that may not be the first to come to mind such as:
- Collard Greens
- Microgreens (immature seedlings/early vegetable or herb greens)*
- Bok Choy
- Mustard Greens
- Beet Greens
* If you have any current issues with your immune system or are currently undergoing treatment, please consult a Registered Dietitian (RD) to ensure safe consumption of microgreens.
Here are some ways to incorporate more greens into your daily routine**:
- Finely chop chard, collard greens, kale and spinach into small pieces and blend into soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc.
- Try growing your own microgreens or salad greens at home
- Add microgreens to salads, sandwiches or as a topping on a cooked pizza/entree.
- Extra kale in the garden? Try our simple kale chip recipe here
- Love beets? Don’t throw out the green tops… they can be added to salads, soups or sautéed and sprinkled with vinegar as a side dish
- Kale salad too chewy? Massage the dressing into the kale before serving, this will help to soften the leaves
**Due to their high fibre, if you have any digestive issues, please connect with a RD or your MD to see how best to incorporate into your diet.
Did you know it is not too late to plant some greens in your garden or pots? Arugula, Bok Choi and Kale are just a few examples of nutritious food we can grow in BC into the fall.