Green vegetables are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Loaded with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and chlorophyl, they are fabulous for keeping our bones strong, and are also relatively low in calories.
Greens are also great source of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties to boost our immune systems and fight off bacteria and disease, and contain fibre which is great for our digestive health.
According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, adults should be consuming 5-6 servings of vegetables and legumes per day. 1 serve is approximately equivalent to 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables, such as broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato, 1/2 cup of lentils and beans, or 1 cup of leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, kale.
Most Australians don't meet their requirements everyday, however vegetables, in particular greens are a corner stone to our health.
Here are a few ways to increase your vegetable intake daily:
Add some greens to your smoothie
Spinach and Kale are great in smoothies. You can hardly taste them and its easy to get a cup in there. 1 serve done!
Include veggies at breakfast
Stack your omelette full of veggies, add sides of mushroom and avocado, grate carrot or zucchini into your oats, add spinach to protein pancakes (see recipe below).
Eat a salad at every meal
Make sure you have a cup of salad at lunch and dinner. Its a small side, with all the important vitamins and minerals that will help you feel amazing.
Grate and Add
Grate up any vegetable, carrot, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, leafy greens, and add to pasta dishes, frittata and quiches, homemade muffins, hamburgers... anything!
Eat three different vegetables at dinner
A variety of vegetables will give you a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Aim for a serving of greens, then a serving of red and yellow.
I really encourage you to eat as many vegetables as you can, particulary greens, aiming for a minimum of 5 serves. You will be amazed at how great you feel, and also begin to crave them if you miss them for a few days.
Try my Spinach Protein Pancakes Recipe!
Spinach Protein Pancakes
3 cups spinach leaves
2 scoops vanilla protein
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp coconut flour
2 tbsp flax meal
1 pinch baking powder
2 tbsp coconut yoghurt
2 tsp honey
2 tsp chai seeds
2 sprinkles of coconut flakes
Coconut oil (for cooking)
In a blender, blend the together the spinach, eggs, protein, almond milk, coconut flour, flax meal and baking powder until smooth.
Heat coconut oil in a fry pan over a moderate heat.
Divide the pancake mixture into four, spoon into the pan and cook the pancakes on each side until brown.
To serve, stack two pancakes on your plate, top with a tbsp of coconut yoghurt, a tsp of honey, and chia seeds and coconut flakes sprinkled on top.