Bored of the same Old Leafy Greens? Then Mix things up & try these 5 Unusual Greens!
OK – so we have all heard of lettuce, spinach, and even kale is quite popular as a leafy green these days. But there are actually many others out there that offer us plenty of good nutrition as well as being delicious on the taste buds when cooked and dressed up accordingly, as the newly released cookbook entitled ‘The Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook’ by Susan Sampson, demonstrates.
If you are a food fanatic or someone who just fancies a change from the humdrum world of supermarket greens – then try adding the following greens into your menu:
1. Carrot Tops
Carrot tops contain 6 times the amount of vitamin C when compared to the root vegetable, as well as good amounts of potassium, vitamin K and calcium.
Finely chop and add to a couscous dish. It is the high potassium content that gives them their bitter taste, so remember this when choosing a dish to put them in.
Some experts say that the leaves are a natural antiseptic, so this means you could juice them and use it as a natural mouth wash – nature is incredible huh?
(*Carrot top greens must be taken directly from the top of a carrot, and not picked wild from a bush that simply looks like carrot top leaves – as these can be poisonous!)
2. Star Chickweed & Common Chickweed
Common chickweed makes a delicious vinaigrette, and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach. The whole part of this plant is edible and nutritious – including the stems, leaves and flowers – and they all taste good too.
3. Houttuynia AKA ‘Fish Wort’
Houttuynia started out as a popular herb in the East, to treat conditions such as reducing bacteria, removing toxins, and fighting allergies and asthma.
This leafy green has a very distinct fishy taste to it, which makes it perfect for Vietnamese dishes like lemon vermicelli as this leafy green genuinely does have a fishy taste to it – which will not suit everyone’s tastes buds.
4. Jute Lead
Another leafy green with a similar taste to that of spinach. This leafy green, that is also used as a herbal medicine in some parts of the world for conditions like constipation, worms, arthritis and hardening of the arteries, goes perfectly in soups. Jute leaves are rich in antioxidants, calcium, potassium and dietary fibre.
5. Komatsuna / Japanese Mustard Spinach
Komatsuna leaves are rich in vitamins A, and B as well as being rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre is needed in a person’s diet to help promote a healthy digestive tract, and to help prevent colon cancer. This leafy green works well in a miso broth.
The true health benefits of all leafy greens can be delivered only when they are eaten raw. So when cooking the greens and trying to get more nutrition in, try not to overcook them, but either way do enjoy experimenting with the new leafy greens in your diet!