Ninja Tips for Sneaking More Greens into Your Day
At one point or another in your life, you have surely heard the importance of getting in your daily greens. To say that leafy greens support healthy digestion, and provides vitamins and minerals — is a total understatement, because they do so much more.
Ideally we should be consuming leafy greens and other nutrient dense vegetables with every meal. Including more greens can be simple, especially when you have tips from a true greens ninja: ‘Holisticole - sneaking veggies in your meal since 2014’.
I even make my oatmeal green.
You see, leafy greens offer a whole lot more than just fibre, vitamin C and B-vitamins. They also contain powerful phytonutrients such as glucosinolates, flavonol and carotenoids. These active-ingredients have powerful effects on the immune system, our microbiome, energy production, cognitive function, and even liver detoxification (just to name a few). Eating your leaves and nutrient-dense veg isn’t just a way to be healthier, it’s literally benefiting you on a cellular level. These natural phytochemicals are working positively for your endocrine system, nervous system, digestion, brain chemistry and cognitive function.
I’ve got some tried, tested and adored tips for you - whether you’re looking for inspiration to try something new; you’re just not that into big bountiful salads; are genuinely looking to improve your greens intake; or simply captivated by my enthusiasm… Let’s thrive.
Powered by Pesto
There are plenty of reasons to make pesto an essential. Not only is pesto delicious, but it’s a sneaky way to get those greens in. There are no rules when it comes to what plant should be used to make your pesto. While basil is the classic choice, you can also make pesto with baby spinach, kale, mustard greens, and watercress. Pesto is a ninja tip because you can condense almost 6 cups of leafy greens into a small mason jar, then use it as a dressing, dip or garnish.
It’s yummy with eggs, jazzes up roasted vegetables, you can add it to pasta or zucchini noodles or top your salad with it. Don’t fall for the store bought, which is filled with inflammatory vegetable oils, un-needed dairy, and far too much salt. This recipe is a simple DIY, and you only need 4-ingredients: your choice of leafy greens, olive oil, lemon, hemp hearts or pumpkin seeds, and nutritional yeast (optional).
‘Make it Gourmet’
There are several things that permanently changed in my life when I became a holistic nutritionist, one of my developed traits is my desire to constantly ‘make it gourmet’. It’s my challenge to myself, to find a way to have greens with almost every meal. Sometimes that means adding microgreens and baby spinach to my total comfort avocado grilled cheese, other times it means wrapping a burger with a leaf, drinking a 100% green juice or juiced powder with my pancakes, or literally just putting my vibrant powered pesto on it.
‘Make it gourmet’. If you are fascinated by vegetables for their phytonutrient benefits, you’ll likely be inspired, like myself, to find that creative opportunity to include them.
Make them into Energy Bites
You can sneak some extra superfoods into your snack with these superfood energy bites. Fudgy goodness on the outside, with nutritional goodness throughout. You would never suspect that these bites are packed with the powdered juices of nutrient dense grasses, kelp, and beets - plus a blend of super-berries: aronia, acerola, acai, blueberry and goji. This is possibly the simplest energy bite recipe. A key point is that your food processor does all the work, which by the way - if you don’t have one already what are you waiting for. You’re going to want to make these bites on repeat.
Blend them up
Smoothies are a definite greens ninja tip, if you’re not already including them in your blend - then you’re honestly not taking advantage. Adding a handful of baby spinach to your smoothie will only change the colour, not the taste. I like to take it a step further, catch me adding zucchini to my smoothies, it creates the same consistency as banana without the extra sugar. If you’re making my sneaky superfood energy bites, you can also use your berry greens powder in your smoothie blends, while this booster tastes like fruit, it’s completely natural - but not with natural flavouring - you’re actually tasting the real super fruits! This blend is a game changer.
Keep blending them up
(Don’t worry, there’s tips for people who like to use their teeth coming next). Do you love creamy pureed soups? Me too. If it’s the time of year when your less into cold smoothies and more into warm soups, don’t be afraid to add a few extra things to the pot. Yes, traditionally butternut squash soup should be vibrant orange, but unless you’re taking pictures for your upcoming recipe book, you can make your soup resemble a 5-year olds paint palette, aka a weird colour you never knew existed. When I make my Detox Soup or Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup I always toss in whatever leafy friend is in my fridge.
Use them as a bed
If you’ve acquired the taste for your greens, and would just like a simple way to include more. Leafy greens go with pretty much everything. Cooking something savoury? Always make a bed of greens, they’re decorative yet and a beneficial addition to your favourite meals. If i’m making homemade roasted potatoes for comfort, I will still put these on a bed of greens! Ancient grain or gluten-free pasta, catch me topping that with powered pesto and microgreens. If you really want to get those greens in, just put them in your bowl and appreciate all the goodness they can do for you, then eat them.
Are you ready to get your green on, fellow ninja?