As a fussy kid, I never thought that one day I would come to LOVE green vegies. And let’s face it – a steamed heap of vegetables on the side of your plate is hardly appetising for children or adults. But vegetables don’t have to be boring chores that we have to gulp down in order to justify our desert. Simply knowing how to flavour your vegetables can transcend them from begrudgingly boring to delectably delicious.
Now, we’ve all heard of the so called ‘super foods’…. These wonderful, health promoting foods that contain an abundance of life-giving nutrients that support glowing skin, muscle relaxation, improved clarity and focus, deep-restorative sleep, happy life-affirming hormones, energy and vitality. I’ll let you in on a little secret ~ all green vegetables are superfoods! From the humble broccoli, sassy salty celery and crunchy kale, green vegetables are the very foundation for Hippocrates premise of “Food As Medicine” ~ providing us with the essential nutrients that are required for all the wonderful, autonomic (automatic) processes within our bodies that most of the time we are not even aware of.
Nutrients are the very building blocks of our body’s and nature provides all that we need to live happy, healthy and vibrant lives.
Let’s break it down one step further. Magnesium is our body’s natural muscle relaxant. When muscles contract the body uses calcium and when the muscles relax the body uses magnesium. Every time you move a muscle, stretch, walk or eat you are utilising these nutrients in the give-and-take activity of your muscular system. And where can you find calcium and magnesium? Green vegetables of course!
Our beloved magnesium is integrally involved in 300+ enzymatic process in the body and regulates our mood, sleep, energy production, bone integrity, controls inflammation and enhances blood sugar regulation. No wonder naturopaths can’t get enough of this super-nutrient!
Calcium is also important for our bone health, muscle and nerve functions and acid-alkaline balance within our body’s and is abundant in broccoli and dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, bok choy, rocket and spinach. One of my personal favourite flavour enhancers and nutrient boosters is adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to my green vegetables. Not only does a dash of olive oil, lemon juice and salt transform these simple veggies to tantalise your tastebuds, but the added vitamin-C content of lemon juice naturally boosts the calcium content of these super-green super-foods!
Folate is another essential nutrient found in asparagus, spinach and broccoli that plays many oh-so-important roles within your body. Folate is a very important B-vitamin required for the function of your brain and nervous system in optimising cognitive function (how you think) and your mood (how you feel). Folate also regulates your cardiovascular system and lowers your risk of heart disease, supports the production of your essential red blood cells and is incredibly important for foetal development in pregnancy.
Green vegetables are nutritious gems packed full of vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, folate, magnesium and calcium ~ with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting qualities, fibre to regulate bowel movements and provide prebiotic food for your beneficial bacteria ~ a bowl full of green vege can go a long way in not only preventing disease but promoting health and vitality so that you can be the best you, you can be!
Still not convinced?
Try one of my tasty recipes below to see if you too can come to love these gorgeous greens as much as I do ?
- Kale sautéed with a dash of olive oil, lemon juice and Himalayan sea salt are a great addition to top off any meal such as eggs on toast or kitchari (see recipe below)
- Sautéed greens with lemon and garlic.
- Roast Brussel sprouts and broccoli (or vege of choice) topped with a tahini dressing:
Method: cut broccoli into small florets and halve the brussel sprouts, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they start to become golden.
Tahini dressing: Whilst your vegies are baking, whip up an easy tahini dressing with ¼ cup of tahini, ¼ cup of olive oil, ½-1 freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic (optional), 1-2 tsp of honey or maple syrup, water to dilute, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the tahini dressing over your crisply baked vege and taste the difference.
- Wholesome kitchari with steamed green vegetables, lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt:
- 1 cup of split mung dal
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 6 cups of water
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 2cm square piece of fresh ginger
- 2 cm square piece of fresh turmeric
- 3 tablespoons of ghee, grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- Dash of salt and pepper
- Simply add split mung dal, rice and water in a big saucepan on the stove. Bring to boil and allow to simmer for 30-40minutes until soft. Add coriander, ginger, turmeric and spices to a nutri-bullet or blender with a dash of water to dilute and blend until smooth. Add to the pot with ghee or oil of choice and mix through. Serve with freshly steamed green vegetables, extra ghee, ½ a squeezed lemon and a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt.