According to a study conducted by Cornell University, most people need to triple their weekly servings of dark green leafy vegetables to meet the one-serving-per-day recommendation. Remember: When you’re green inside, you’re clean inside. The more leafy greens you eat, the more efficient your elimination. Greens are even more powerful, because they are charged with ions that bond with toxins in our tissues to carry out waste.
Greens are rich in minerals—including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. They’re also a great source of vitamins, including K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age related problems, among many other benefits. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of omega-3 fats. They help to regulate blood sugar, break down fats, and cleanse the blood. This is key! To help break down the fat from a heavy meal, add a side of greens.
One of my favorite ways to eat greens is lightly sautéed. This is a Southern-inspired collard green preparation that takes just minutes to make, looks vibrant, and tastes great. The key to this recipe is the light sauté of the greens. These greens are at their best when sautéed just five minutes. They retain more nutrients that way, not to mention the vibrant green color. Most people overcook their greens, or “cook them to death” as my grandmother would say!
It speeds the cooking process to use a chiffonade technique, slicing the greens into long, thin strips, creating ribbons (see below for instruction). This technique can be used on all types of robust greens, including kale, mustard greens, chard, and more. Note that if you can’t find good-quality fresh leafy greens, look for organic frozen greens. Equal in nutrient density, they are tasty and better than not having greens at all.
2 bunches collard greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper & salt to taste
Wash the greens thoroughly and chop off the end of the stems. Take 3 collard leaves at a time, stack them togeth- er, and roll them up width-wise. Hold in place against the cutting board and make 1⁄4-inch slices through the collard roll and place ribbons in a large bowl; continue cutting the remainder of the greens in this way. When you are done you should have a heap of collard ribbons.
Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat; swirl the pan to cover the entire surface with oil. Add the crushed garlic if using and cook for 2 minutes before add- ing the collard greens. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of water over the greens, stir, and then cover to cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the lid, sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper, and toss the greens again. Serve immediately.