50 Ways To Add More Greens To Your Diet
For some of us, eating the recommended 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of veggies a day can seem really tricky. So why is it so important to add more greens to your diet?
Greens include everything from kale and broccoli to apples and herbs. Don't restrict your thinking of greens only meaning leafy vegetables, while these are amazing for you, adding a variety of greens to your diet is super important.
The benefits of eating more greens include:
- Vitamin A and C to fight off colds and boost immune function
- Potassium to keep your heart and bones healthy
- Folate which helps to repair DNA and is particularly important in reproductive health
- Fibre to keep you feeling full and ensure your digestion works properly
We share 50 simple ways you can eat more green leafy vegetables and fruits in your daily diet, including some great green leafy vegetable recipes, and even some sweet treats that might surprise you!
1. Spinach and Asparagus Frittata
Make a big spinach and asparagus frittata on the weekend for lunch then freeze leftovers into portions for breakfasts on the go. Hint: pop in the sandwich press at work to heat through.
2. Keep it Simple
Make greens an easy addition to any meal by complimenting your scrambled eggs with some avocado or a handful of spinach.
3. Green Smoothie
Add a handful of baby spinach which has a subtle flavour, or try kale for something a bit stronger in green flavour, to your fruit smoothies for added nutrients and to replace some of the high sugar fruit. Check out these other superfoods you can add to your smoothies for that extra boost of goodness.
4. Green Bircher
Stir your green smoothie through some oats and leave overnight for some sticky and filling bircher.
5. Green Breakfast Hash
Get some breakfast greens in a flash by sautéing a few handfuls of shredded silverbeet in a pan with some oil and garlic then cracking over an egg or two to combine.
6. Add Herbs to your Smoothie
Get creative with fresh herbs and add them to your smoothies. Think mint, lemongrass, basil, thyme or kafir lime leaves.
7. Green Pesto
Pesto doesn't just have to be basil. Get creative with new green combos like spinach, coriander or kale and pair these with your eggs or on a piece of toast.
8. Green Fruit Salad
Create a green fruit salad with kiwi fruit, grapes, avocado and apple. Drizzle with a dressing of tahini, cinnamon and lime juice and sprinkle with a seed mix or a little granola.
9. Breakfast Stir-Fry
Create a breakfast stir-fry with sautéd garlic, onion, rainbow chard, mushroom and capsicum to have alongside your eggs. The vitamin C boost from the capsicum will help your body absorb the iron from the greens.
10. Add Spirulina
For added protein and nutrients in your green smoothie scoop in some spirulina, an easy way to get more B vitamins in your morning.
11. Green Fritters
Grate three cups of your favourite greens (zucchini, brussel sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi), one cup of leafy herbs (basil, parsley, coriander) and combine with a little cheese, 2 - 3 eggs and some almond meal or flour to bind and shape into fritters. Shallow fry until golden.
12. Substitute Toast
Green up your breakfast by swapping toast for grilled asparagus which compliments a poached egg and cracked black pepper perfectly!
13. Mason Jar Salad
Having your salad in the jar is all the rage right now and for good reason. The layers are strategically placed to ensure your pre-prepared salad comes out fresh and perfectly dressed. Check out these Mason Jar Salad Tips for making your own filled with lots of green veggie.
14. Cleansing Watercress Salad
Make a cleansing salad of watercress, the highly applauded leafy green that has pipped kale at the nutrient dense post. Packed with dietary fibre, iron, protein plus vitamins B, C and K. Try this yummy Thai Chicken Watercress Salad.
15. Green Bruschetta
Go green with your bruschetta topping with this Smashed Pea Bruschetta Recipe.
16. Clean 2 Minute Noodles
Combine your favourite shredded leafy green veggies or zucchini ribbons in a large jar along with some shredded chicken or tempeh, mixed vegetables and soy sauce. Top with boiling water for a portable, clean '2 minute noodle' lunch.
17. No Need For Butter
Replace buttery spreads in your sandwiches with mashed avocado, pesto or a spinach/herb dip.
18. Spruce Up Leftover Roast
Give leftover roasted vegetables and meat a new life by tossing them with a fresh organic salad mix for a super quick lunch on the go.
19. Super Green Rice Paper Rolls
Create super green rice paper rolls with lots of fresh green herbs. Rice paper is a quick and easy vessel for heaps of ingredients, simply run a sheet under some running water and fold in your fillings. Some of our green favourites include cabbage, cucumber, shave asparagus, snowpeas, avocado, mint, coriander and spinach.
20. Get Sprouting
Soak seeds and beans in water until they sprout before adding to salads and soups. Sprouting increases many vitamins that would normally be found in the seed itself such as chlorophyll (the green pigmentation) and vitamin C as well as activating enzymes, making them easier to digest.
22. Zucchini Pasta
Toss zucchini noodles in a pan with a big dollop of pesto, roast pumpkin and grilled haloumi for a quick dinner.
23. Use Weeds
Make use of those unusual greens we normally think of as weeds for delicious pesto. Check out this list of weeds you can eat.
24. Tortilla Free Tacos
Select a lush iceberg lettuce and carefully separate each leaf to fill with taco mince instead of tortillas.
25. Freeze Your Pesto
Make a big batch of herb pesto and freeze it in an ice-cube tray to store. You can then add a cube or two of these pesto shots to soups, stews and sauces for a punch of fresh flavour.
27. Add to Soups and Stews
Add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach, shredded silverbeet or cavolo nero into your soups and stews towards the end of cooking.
28. Use the Scraps
Keep the leaves from celery, beetroot and broccoli and add to salads or soups for extra nutrients. Keep the green tips of the leek for bone broth.
29. Ditch the Bun
Use sturdy cabbage leaves in place of burger buns at your next bbq.
30. Veggie Lasagne
Give your lasagne a facelift by replacing the pasta with strips of zucchini. Add a few handfuls of baby spinach to your sauce and dot with a few spoonfuls of pesto.
31. Broccoli and Spinach Soup
Blend up a quick and satisfying broccoli and spinach soup starting with onion and garlic, vegetable stock or bone broth, a couple of heads of broccoli and few handfuls of spinach. This one will warm the immune system.
32. Munch on Celery
Get snacking on celery with your favourite dip or nut butter for some added protein to curb your hunger and keep your blood sugar levels under control.
33. Green Hummus
Give your hummus a green glow by adding some of your favourite herbs for a change in flavour. Here's an easy Herby Green Hummus Recipe.
34. Zucchini Chips
Toss thinly sliced zucchini in a little olive oil and parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes and bake until golden for a quick snack.
35. Swap Coffee for Matcha
Swap your morning coffee for a matcha latte or green tea and reap the benefits of catechins, flavonoids and polyphenols that have a range of positive effects on the body such as blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol management.
36. Green Salsa
Whip up a refreshing little salsa for fish by finely chopping some cucumber, red onion, mint, lime juice and chilli.
37. Quick Guacamole
Make a super quick guacamole to enjoy as a snack with veggies or your next Mexican style dinner party. Roughly mash a couple of ripe avocados with a good squeeze of lime juice, a handful of coriander or parsley, some finely chopped red onion and tomato and a pinch of cayenne pepper (if you're up for it!) Avocados are a great source of fibre, folate, vitamins K and E plus essential fatty acids.
38. Veggie Chips
Massage some roughly torn kale or cavolo nero leaves with a little olive or coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt and spices (pepper, cayenne, paprika, cumin or sumac) before placing in a moderate oven for around 10 minutes until crispy.
39. Fancy Up Your Sides
Spruce up a simple green side with a little extra love, like this yummy Braised Kale, Walnut and Garlic dish. Kale is packed full of vitamins K, A and C for immune health, along with omega 3 fatty acids also found in the walnuts.
40. Pear and Rocket Salad
Thinly slice some pear (using a mandolin if you have access to one) and toss through a few handfuls of rocket, some parmesan or vegan cheese, walnuts and a simple lemon and olive oil dressing. Rocket has a bitter, peppery flavour, a perfect addition to a heavy meal to aid digestion.
41. Green Goddess Dressing
Dress a big fresh salad, a wrap or some steamed vegetables with a super quick Green Goddess Dressing.
42. Green Mashed Potato
Swirl some green through your mashed potato to help reduce your starchy carbohydrates and increase fibre-rich greens. Try mashed peas or pureed broccoli.
43. Zest Up Your Steamed Veggies
Try dressing your steamed greens with a zesty lemon and olive oil dressing. It's not just for salads!
45. BBQ Asparagus
Toss some fresh asparagus spears on the grill at your next BBQ and dress with a garlic vinegarette for a delicious side rich in prebiotic fibre which is required to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut and keep it happy.
46. Cacao Avocado Mousse
Looking for something a bit indulgent? Create a decadent chocolate mousse by combining 1/2 avocado, 1 tbsp cacao, 1 tbsp maple syrup (honey or rice malt syrup fine too), pinch of cinnamon and pinch of salt in a blender. Process until smooth and serve with some fresh berries.
47. Green Baking
Sneak some greens into your sweet treats to up the nutrient value, particularly fibre to keep you fuller for longer. Add some grated zucchini into sweet or fruit muffins and cookies, matcha green tea powder in frozen desserts and avocado in creamy toppings and fillings.
48. Herby Fruit Salad
Add shredded mint and baby spinach to a seasonal fruit salad for added flavour and colour.
49. After Dinner Cheese Platter
Add some green pears or apples to a cheese platter to help cut through the richness of the cheese and add some fibre and freshness to aid in digestion.
50. Lemon and Matcha
Try this delicious combo in a raw vegan cheesecake dessert.