Kale has become a cliché. In 2012, I wrote an article titled, “Is Kale Becoming a Kardashian.” It’s been three years, and neither kale nor the Kardashians have budged from their pop culture pedestals. But I’m glad, because as kale-d out as I am, I’m not ready to part ways with the vitamin-rich veggie. I usually have a kale salad in my fridge to nosh on throughout the week (with miso dressing from The Little Book of Thin); and I regularly toss kale into my juicer. I’m certainly not going to tell you to quit kale cold turkey. Still, it’s optimal to mix it up a little—there are other greens in the market, after all. So if you’re tired of eating kale (or reading about it!), here are 5 new greens to add to your plate.
Available in several varieties, including sunflower and daikon radish (watch out for the kick!), microgreens are harvested less than two weeks after germination. And it’s their immaturity that gives them an edge. Research (yes, actual research—take that!) in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown microgreens are four to forty times more nutritious than their mature counterparts. But don’t insult microgreens by confusing them with sprouts—they aren’t grown the same way, and they have completely different flavor profiles. (Need a source? I munch on microgreens from Good Water Farms.)
2. Dandelion Greens
Swimsuit season? No problem! It’s also dandelion greens season. Tasty, yet slightly bitter, dandelions are part of a class of foods I oh-so-scientifically deem as “delicious de-bloaters.” They act a diuretic, so they’re great for those who are concerned about tummy bloat (who isn’t?). Dandelion greens also support liver health, and can help with high blood pressure.
I have to believe, if we called arugula “rocket”—the way our friends across the pond in England do, it would be a much more popular vegetable here. Arugula has a nice peppery taste, which means you don’t have to do much to it. I simply chop some up, and toss it with a little lemon, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt.
4. Collard Greens
If you’re cutting grains or gluten from your diet, collard greens come in handy. Collard greens are sturdy and great as sandwich wrappers—Bare Burger restaurants offer a collard wrap option for all of their meaty and veggie fillings. Collards are also high in fiber and helpful for digestion in another way too, thanks to a compound that discourages the overgrowth of H Pylori in your stomach.
5. Bok Choy
This cruciferous vegetable (or crucifer, as we refer to them) stumped me when it first appeared in my CSA basket. Bok Choy is easier to cook and deal with than its cousins: cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. And, surprisingly, bok choy contains a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids (nowhere near the amount found in salmon, but still pretty good for a vegetable). I love Bok choy prepared with fish in parchment paper, or as a simple side dish stir fried in coconut oil.
There you have it, 5 greens that can compete with kale. Think one of these has the power to knock kale out of its number 1 slot? Share your thoughts with me @Foodtrainers on twitter, instagram, and pretty much everywhere else.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.