Everyone knows that leafy greens are important in our diets, but why? The US Department of Agriculture recommends that adults get three cups of dark green vegetables a week. Luckily there are many vegetable options to help us meet this goal.
By consuming leafy greens, we are increasing our intake of vitamins A, C, and K, along with folate and potassium. There is a also a lot of fiber packed into these amazing veggies, which can lower cholesterol and maintain healthy bowel movements. And, as far as vegetables go, leafy greens contain an impressive amount of calcium. This can contribute to bone health and maintenance.
Turnip greens, kale, swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, and cabbage are great examples of leafy greens. If you don’t consume these often or if you don’t like the texture of raw veggies, soups are a great way to add these to your diet. It’s fun to think of new ways to add leafy greens to your diet, and the reward is improved nutrition and tasty meals!
Leafy Green Soup
1 onion, chopped
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
3 (15-oz) cans canned navy beans (rinsed)
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
4 cups kale
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onion, celery, and carrots in a large stockpot in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent (about seven minutes). Add broth, beans, and spices. Let simmer for 45 minutes. Add washed kale in the last five minutes of cooking. Enjoy!