3 Must-Know Techniques to Eat More Greens Leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals, but it can be challenging to get them into your family’s diet. After being part of a CSA for years I came up with different techniques to add the more bitter and sturdier greens into everyday meals. These 3 must-know techniques will help you incorporate more greens into your recipes, providing more nutrients to your dishes that even your picky eaters will endure. See more at: homemademommy.net
Technique 1: Chop
It’s common to add chopped herbs like parsley and cilantro to a recipe, but don’t stop at herbs. Any kind of leafy green can be chopped up and added to your food. And chopping them will make sturdier greens like kale and collards easier to chew and result in a milder flavor.
All you need to start chopping is a good sharp knife and a cutting board. Make sure the greens are very dry – a salad spinner is perfect for this – otherwise you’ll end up with a pile of green mush.
For greens like kale and collards, remove the leaves from the fibrous stalk first before chopping.
Where to add chopped greens:
- mix chopped kale with ground meat and make hamburgers or even hamburger helper
- add chopped spinach to your marinara sauce
- add chopped chard into your meatball or meatloaf mixture.
Technique 2: Chiffonnade
Chiffonade is a chopping technique commonly used for herbs like basil that yields long thin strips. But it is also the best technique for sautéing greens. First, it makes a quick side dish since the smaller surface area speeds up the cooking process. It eliminates the need to blanch your greens, a common technique used for greens like collards. And lastly, the greens will not taste as bitter. This is also a great technique for adding bitter greens into salads.
Ideas for chiffonnade greens:
- sauté a few garlic cloves with some ghee or preferred fat, add sliced kale, chard, or dandelion greens and sauté a few minutes until cooked through
- chiffonade some romaine lettuce and/or other salad green and add to tuna or chicken salad
- chiffonade arugula and add to coleslaw or potato salad
- slice dandelion greens and throw into a soup or stew right before serving for a beautiful and nutritious garnish
Technique 3: Puree
There are various ways to add pureed greens to your meals. Either a food processor or a blender can be used as a quick way to get these greens to your dinner table. Bitter greens can blend in seamlessly with pesto and salsa verde due to the already strong ingredients typical in these condiments. And both smoothies and cream type soups can easily hide some extra greens.
Ideas for pureed greens:
- add mustard greens with basil leaves in your pesto recipe or arugula like this ingenious arugula pesto
- add dandelion greens or kale into salsa verde or chimichurri sauce
- blend romaine lettuce leaves into your smoothies
- blend in salad leaves into a creamy potato soup (great technique for leaves that are starting to wilt)
Keep in mind these techniques as you prep your meals and adding greens to your dishes will become natural.
And remember that all vegetables require healthy fats to absorb their nutrients so never leave out the fats!