Green vegetables may not always be on everyone’s “favorite foods” list. I have to be honest, lettuce isn’t exactly the first thing I reach for when I’m hungry for a snack. But you can switch up your usual side salad at dinnertime with some unique “superfoods,” power-packed with nutrients and rich in color. Here are five green vegetables that everyone should try–share them with your kids, too!
Edamame is a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean. It can be found most-often in the frozen foods section of the grocery store, either in or out of the pod. Just a 1/4 cup of edamame contains 12 grams of protein, 90% of an adult’s daily value of folate and 20% of the daily value of iron. Edamame can be eaten as a snack or used in soups and salads. In our home, we prepare it by lightly boiling the pods in salted water and then eating the beans directly from the pods. My kids eat them like candy!
This leafy dark green vegetable is a form of cabbage and packs a nutritional punch of beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium. It is said by nutritionists to have extremely powerful antioxidant properties. You’ve probably seen it as a garnish on a fancy dinner plate! I wasn’t sure what to do with kale at first but this recipe for Crispy Kale Chips makes it tasty even for kids.
Ingredients: 1 bunch kale, washed and dried, 2 Tbs. olive oil, 2 Tbs. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. sea salt. Chop kale, place in a bowl and massage oil, juice and salt into kale. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes until dark green and crispy. Cool and serve. (From Parents magazine)
When I first was introduced to artichoke by a friend I was rather skeptical. It seemed like a lot of work to boil it, peel it and pull the flesh through my teeth after dipping each leaf in butter. But it tasted pretty good and is good for me. Artichokes are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C and also contain folate and magnesium. Plus, it’s just fun to try something new! You can read this article as a guide to cooking and eating an artichoke.
Broccolini is the newest “it” vegetable, a sweet-bitter tasting cross between broccoli and asparagus. It looks like broccoli but is more tender and has smaller florets and thin stalks. It is best sauteed or steamed and works very well in stir-fry. Like many of it’s green counterparts, broccolini contains calcium, iron, folate, vitamin A and vitamin C.
This green leafy herb is easily grown in a pot by a sunny window, a perfect project for little gardeners! It has a bright lemony taste and smells great too! We love making fresh salsa with chopped tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt. It’s also used in pestos and salads. Cilantro is a great source of antioxidants, which help protect and build up your immune system.
These tasty veggies make it easy to bring extra nutrition into your diet and the best part is that they’re kid-friendly too. You may even find something new to add to your favorite foods list–or at least your “favorite vegetable” list!
Photo Credit: Qfamily/Flickr