Time to be a green machine

Sayeh Woodman –
sayehwoodman@outlook.com –

Eating more greens really has been on trend in the past few years with the more health conscious among us and rightly so. Enjoying more greens raw, in juices and slightly steamed convey so many health benefits to the human body and mind. When it comes to Iftar, eating more greens really will keep you going for longer, and making you feel great. Why limit it to the Ramadhan period as well? Why not continue it even after the holy month?
I’ve spoken to my neighbour about Ramadhan and he shared that this time around, he’s opting for a healthier way. He shared with me how he’s gone green this month.
For many, we have two favourites: spinach and kale, which are great in smoothies. But what other nutrients can we get from our green foods and how can we gain more from it through blending or juicing them, much even better, combining it with our favourite smoothie.
My neighbour gave me a list of greens that he’s trying throughout this month.
Let’s face it — we all have different tastes — so not all of them are going to be to our taste. Pick and choose from the list below, and create your own lean green machine of good health, during this special month and thereafter — a great detox for the body.
SPINACH: As we know, spinach is sweet and its one of those greens that you don’t really taste. Which is why so many get into a comfort zone with it. For its milder tast, it’s a great green to start adding to your diet.
KALE: Try to find different varieties such as the darker green kale which contains higher levels of chlorophyll.
Dark green lettuce and romaine red leaf butterhead are all varieties that can be added to a smoothie as well as great to add in salads. Avoid the iceberg, as these are just water and will fill you up with nothing else!
BOK CHOY: I’ve never heard of this in all honesty — until now! This can be added in stir fries or you can spike your smoothie with it on occasion. The white stem is best for grating or chopping and because it’s fairly sweet, it’s also a great addition to salads.
BEETROOT GREENS: Most of us take a bunch of beetroot, chop off the tops and discard them. But stop. You can actually use the tops in smoothies or in salads as well.
COLLARD GREENS: Those great big juicy green leaves are excellent as a wrap in place of starchy bread. What you can do is get some leaves, fill it out with your favourite things, roll it up and munch on it just like you would eat a wrap. Definitely, a healthier alternative.
WHEATGRASS: Most of us are familiar with the wheatgrass shots but you can chop a small chunk of wheatgrass and blitz up a smoothie. I tend to use pineapple, which can really disguise the strong chlorophyll-like rich taste.
BASIL: Yes. If you haven’t discovered it yet, this herb is actually delicious in a smoothie. You can mix this up with strawberry and banana and you have a healthy infusion of fruits and herbs.
FENNEL TOPS: The greens of these can be washed and popped into a smoothie or chopped and added into salads. If you haven’t tried it yet, it will give your salad the familiar liquorice taste.
Swiss chards are also great for salads, stir fries or as additions to smoothies or juices.
There are also other varieties of green cabbages, mustards, and turnip greens that can easily be switch from day to day. The list my neighbour gave me was endless.
With all these choices, there are loads out there to try. But it starts with coming out of your comfort zone and conditioning yourself in trying new things. Take the time to enjoy the nutrients of the different greens than can come with your smoothie. Just be courageous enough to give it a try.