As soon as April hits, I become a salad monster. I can't seem to get enough greens and fresh veggies, but throughout January, February and March, I can't even consider consuming a salad. I'm always happy when my love of greens pops back up. (I go through a similar cycle every spring — from total disinterest in veggies, to obsession.)
I know I should eat as many greens as I can fit in; they are not only the key to a healthy digestive system, but they supply your body with vitamins and minerals galore, phytonutrients that help fight cancer — eating greens can even improve your sex life! And, like all veggies, greens make your skin glow, and eating more of them means you eat less of the things you shouldn't (since they take up room with all their healthy fiber, making you feel full).
But for those times that I'm not that interested in salads — and for all of you out there who feel blasé about leafies no matter the season, here are some simple ways to trick yourself into eating a lot more of them.
Smoothies: Throwing a handful of spinach into a fruity smoothie won't change the taste a bit, and will give you a shot of health (you can try this on anti-veggie family members too; they'll never know they are eating their greens!).
Fresh juices: If you enjoy the occasional carrot or apple juice, try throwing in a handful of cabbage, some celery or a shot of wheatgrass. Mixed into flavorful, sweet juices, it's hard to taste the greens (though it will alter the color of your drink).
Kale chips: These tasty, flavored chips hit the spot when you want something toothsome and salty, but with more of the nutrition than you get from carb-packed potatoes. Try this recipe to make your own kale chips.
Sandwiches: I always ask the deli guy (or the man behind the Subway counter) to double the greens that they usually add to a sandwich (and have them double the tomato too), which usually never costs anything more, and adds more crunch (and fiber) to your sandwich, and helps keep me full longer.
Soups: Most people think of winter as soup season, but I love soups all the year 'round. Next time you make your favorite soup, whether it's from-a-can chicken noodle, your grandma's reheated lentil, homemade matzoh ball, or supermarket orzo, throw a handful of arugula or spinach in, and let simmer for a minute or two. Not only do you get some great color, but you get the greens too, and they barely change the flavor of the soup.
Related on MNN: 5 recipes for arugula