Leafy Greens: Amazingly Delicious and Powerful Super Foods

These are some of our favorite foods! With multiple benefits including vitamins, nutrients, fiber and more, they can help your body function at its best.

Categories:
Healthy, Broccoli

Kale
This nutty green comes in many different varieties — curly, purple, dinosaur and more. Whichever kind you choose, it is very high in beta carotene, vitamins K and C, calcium and various possible cancer-fighting agents. Steam it, fry it or better yet, eat it raw to maintain the highest nutritional value possible.

Our two favorite ways to eat kale are in a Caesar Salad and in a Smoothie. To make the smoothie, combine raw kale, an apple, parsley, apple cider, lemon juice and freshly grated ginger in a blender and puree until smooth. To make a Kale Caesar, try this Food Network Kitchens recipe.

See more kale recipes.

Broccoli
This widely-available vegetable is one of our favorites. It contains huge amounts of vitamin C and K and is thought to have anti-cancer fighting properties. It is best eaten raw or steamed as boiling for long periods will result in a major loss of nutrients. Who needs to overcook this gorgeous veggie anyway?

There are too many ways to eat it to list, so check out over 100 broccoli recipes using this green from the cabbage family. You're sure to find many that appeal to you!

Dandelion Greens

How convenient that possibly one of the most beneficial greens you could eat is also a weed and grows in excess all over the world? These greens — and yes, we are talking about the same ones attached to the little yellow flowers and round poufy seed balls — are bitter when eaten raw, but if sautéed with just a few ingredients for a few minutes, are delicious and full of all kinds of nutrients. Dandelion greens are high in vitamins including A, C, K, E, and also contain iron, thiamine, beta-carotene and more. See what we mean? This is one powerful green!

We like dandelion greens in soup, with steaks, on sandwiches — you name it. Here are some recipes we love.

Chard
You can find all kinds of beautifully colored chards — yellow, red, rainbow. It almost makes you think the plant is not real when you see how vibrantly colored the stems are and how green and shiny the leaves can be. Like all other leafy greens, the leaves are more nutritious than the stems, but the stems are perfectly edible and full of fiber. We love chard because it is high in so many vitamins, such as K, A, beta-carotene, C, magnesium and iron.

Some people find it bitter and therefore prefer to cook it, but we find just a light sauté is all you need to do to make this edible plant deliciously palatable. Here are some chard recipes to try.

Escarole/Endive
Did you know escarole is actually a type of endive? You might think of endive as that frilly and bitter salad green that gives plain old salads a nice zing and is also known as frisee. This is not to be confused with Belgian Endive, which is a long and light green flat salad green. While we love these salad greens, we especially love escarole. It is less bitter than the other endives and can be eaten either raw, in a sturdy salad, sautéed with garlic and oil, or thrown in a simple soup with white beans.

We highly recommend eating these greens whenever you can, especially since they are so easy to eat raw and generally, the less you cook something, the more it retains its nutrients. In this case, escarole is high in so many things like vitamins K and A, plus folates.

Here are some hot and cold recipes using escarole.

Parsley
Parsley is one of Seamus Mullen's "Hero Foods." Full of folates, vitamins C and K and iron, this is no ordinary garnish. Use it in abundance in pesto and smoothies and anywhere else you can squeeze it into your cooking.

Try Seamus' recipe for Parsley Juice.

More Leafy Greens + Recipes for Each: