Thursday, August 30, 2012

the prettiest fridge

I love days I come home from grocery shopping and my fridge looks like this. I know its going to be a good week when every meal is centered around some greens! They are so versatile, so delicious and soooo good for you. 

Why eat more greens?

Dark leafy greens have been shown to prevent everything from cancer to heart disease while keeping our brain and body in top shape. Greens like kale, swiss chard and spinach are high in vitamins a, c and k and are also high in iron, fiber and calcium. The beta-carotine in greens helps with healthy vision, boosts immunity, and can help fight cancer. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health and may help decrease inflammation, a condition linked to Alzheimers, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. Its amazing all these benefits come from such a simple plant.

Back in the days of Popeye it seemed spinach was the only green worth eating, but now farmers markets and grocery stores are full of unique and healthful greens. It has never been easier to experiment with different greens that can go so much further than the salad bowl. These hearty greens are delicious steamed, sauteed or stir-fried. One of my favorite green recipes is Kale Chips

How do I eat more greens?

My favorite recipe that ensures I'm getting my weeks worth of greens is the Glowing Green Smoothie. I love having this for breakfast and knowing I've set my self up for success that day. Blending the greens into a smoothie goes ahead and breaks down the cell walls of the greens so all those nutrients are easily absorbed. It is also full of fiber so it will hold you over until lunch time. 

How do I make my greens last?

This is a great plan to help extend the life of your greens once you get home from the supermarket.

STEP 1: Trim
Chop off the stems or slice out the core, if there is one, and tear apart the leaves, discarding any that are brown or bruised.
STEP 2: Wash
To remove sand from sturdy greens, such as kale and collards, put them in a large bowl or clean sink filled with cold water. Swish vigorously to loosen grit, then scoop out the leaves; dirt will sink to the bottom. For delicate leaves, like watercress or bok choy, simply rinse carefully under running water.
STEP 3: Dry
Use a salad spinner, or spread a single layer of leaves on a clean towel. You want them only slightly damp, or they'll wilt.
STEP 4: Refrigerate
Roll up the towel and place it in a plastic produce bag from the grocery store; if you used a spinner, put dry leaves directly in the bag. Store greens in the crisper drawer, away from fruit. Certain fruits, like apples, pears, and avocados, emit ethylene, a gas that can hasten spoilage.
STEP 5: Revive
Although greens should last up to a week in the fridge, they may wilt. To perk them up, place them in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes.

sources: natural heath, fitness, power foods

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