15 Oct 5 greens which are just as awesome as kale
Kale – it’s everywhere at the moment. I’m a huge fan – kale chips, kale in smoothies, kale omelettes, kaleslaw… there’s no end to the ways you can use this amazing superveggie! But, I also believe in all things in moderation. And let’s face it – too much of a good thing can be overkill. So, before like me, you end up qualifying for Kaleholics Anonymous, here’s some green veggies which are just as good (honest!).
Rich in vitamin C and folate, broccoli has been scientifically proven to contain anticancer compounds. And it’s from the same family as kale, so it must be good, right? In fact, broccoli sprouts are now dried and used in liver cleansing formulas because of their detoxifying and protective properties. And broccoli is soooo versatile. Although a broccoli smoothie doesn’t sound particularly delicious (although there’s probably someone out there who loves it!), it does go rather well in curries, casseroles and green soups. For a nutrient rich hit, try it chopped up into small pieces and added raw to salads.
Now, before you screw your nose up, have you had them lightly sauteed or roasted with some olive oil (or butter) and fresh herbs? Overcooked brussels sprouts are the pits (bleeeergh!) and I suspect that’s how most of us used to have them, but I encourage you to give them another go. After being traumatised by my mother’s cooking in the 80’s, I still can’t face steamed or boiled brussels sprouts, but done in the right way they really are yummy. And it turns out your mum was right – they’re good for you, being loaded with vitamins and minerals aplenty.
Abundant in spring and high in vitamin C and iron, rocket is one of the easiest veggies to grow (if I can grow it, anyone can) and it’s easy to incorporate into both salads and cooked meals. Rocket loves balsamic and lemon based dressings and its peppery taste stimulates digestion, so it’s great as an entree. One of my favourite ways to eat it is a rocket and pear salad with a sprinkling of goats cheese.
The basis of good old fashioned spring cleanses, stinging nettle has powerful detoxifying properties. Nettle soups, juices and teas have been a detox staple for generations, thought to be a blood tonic and effective for clearing up skin conditions. And the best part is that you can forage for these in the backyard! But before you have a go at gathering nettles, make sure you find yourself some thick gardening gloves, or you might come off second best. But don’t worry – the stings are completely deactivated after blending or cooking.
Before kale was everywhere, spinach was the supergreen of choice for vegetarians and health conscious folk. It’s high in iron, vitamin C and folate and can be added to smoothies, salads, pesto and hot dishes. It’s just too easy to add spinach to most meals, so a bag of these leaves in your fridge will never go astray.
So there’s 5 wonderful, nutrient rich greens with their own unique superpowers to get you started. Which one are you going to try this week? Leave a comment below and tell us all how you’re going to step outside your veggie comfort zone!