In honor of National Kale Day, Jennifer Iserloh, who will lead the upcoming Gentle Cleanse online course (sign up now), has three more healthy greens you should try—plus recipes that will make you want to.
Happy National Kale Day! Wednesday, October 7, has been designated the leafy green's holiday and fans of the nutritious vegetable are gathering across the country to celebrate. But National Kale Day isn't just a day -- thanks to our wonderful sponsors, we're getting kale into hospitals and shelters and teaching school-age kids about farming, how to cook this healthy veggie, and how to make it taste great.
This year, we're also promoting other healthy greens like mustard greens, bok choy, and collards, all of which are high in both nutrition and taste. Will any of the them become the “next" kale? Kale outranks all of them in vitamin and mineral content by about 20 percent, but if you have a little kale fatigue, it’s a great idea to incorporate these greens with unique flavors into your meals. Need ideas?
3 Leafy Greens To Try + Recipes
Mustard greens are the spiciest and most potent of the bunch, and they have a really strong mustard tang. They're high in Vitamin A, C, E, and calcium, and are more delicate than kale leaves, so cook them with a 2- to 3-minute fast sauté or enjoy them raw. They pair well with fatty foods like cheese (think cheddar), nuts, seeds, and avocado. I like to stir in them into a base for mac and cheese or tuck them into a grilled cheese. Mustard greens also work well with creamy ingredients like sesame tahini in this Green Goddess Hummus recipe.
Bok choy has a more mild flavor than mustard greens and a slight cabbage tang, and it's juicier than kale. It's also high in potassium, Vitamin A, and folate, just to name a few. Use it in meals to hydrate and add body and texture. I love it with Asian flavors like ginger, soy, and hot chilies. Toss it into stir fries and chop it to add to soups. I also love to grill this hearty green. Drizzle grilled bok choy with ranch or balsamic-based dressing. Try grilled bok choy with kale-based mayo for a killer side dish.
Collards are high in fiber, manganese, and Vitamin A. Like kale, the leaves have a slight leathery taste -- use them in place of flour tortillas for tacos or as "buns" for your veggie burgers. If you’re cooking collards, don’t follow the Southern technique of lengthy cooking, because you'll lose their nutrients that way. But do use collard leaves as wraps for beans or lentils; shred them and do a sauté; or cut them paper-thin into strips and stir-fry them with other veggies. If you have a high-powered blender, collards also work well in smoothies like this gorgeous mango smoothie.
Jennifer Iserloh, aka the “Skinny Chef”, is a leader in promoting healthy, vibrant lifestyles though a diet of delicious and nutritious easy-to-prepare meals. A classically trained chef, certified yoga teacher and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Iserloh is the best-selling author of 50 Shades of Kale and Healthy Cheats, among other books.