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Strategizing Greens  RSS feed

 
Valerie Dawnstar
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Location: North Central New York
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Question for David Kennedy - What are your strategies for getting us notoriously reluctant Americans to eat more greens? Are there novel ways to prepare them? A new way to approach fitting greens into the typical menu? Green disguises? It seems I should eat more (every day?!) but they are still a bit of a mystery to me.
Thanks for everything!
 
Jessica Gorton
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Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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I don't personally have a problem adding greens to my diet - I'd eat a giant salad of kale and arugula everyday if I could - but for my more greens-adverse man and boy child, I tend to add wilted greens to egg dishes: omelets, quiches, frittatas. I'm also a fan of throwing greens into my tomato sauces. Depending on your crowd, you can add greens to all sorts of dishes - soups come to mind; I do a mean greens and beans (generally white beans, it's an italian dish). My boys also like kale chips, so I've been doing those a lot. Also, try a massaged kale salad if you haven't yet - it's delicious!

I really groove on salads, personally. I like to add cheese and fruit (blue cheese and apple, with walnuts for crunch, might be the best salad ever), but you can throw almost anything on top of greens - olives, nuts, meat or fish, orange slices, etc ad nauseum...
 
Ken Peavey
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I was raised on greens. Dandelion greens, chard, spinach...beet greens and bacon is the best thing there is.
 
Dave Kennedy
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Hi Jessica,

I'm with you on beans and greens. Covers a lot of nutritional ground and a delicious and inexpensive meal. A variation I enjoyed in Brazil was this:

Brazilian Collards

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 cups collard greens, washed and shredded
1 can beer
1 cup cooked black beans
1 orange, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon orange peel, grated finely
½ teaspoon salt

Heat oil in large skillet. When oil is hot, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in collard greens. Cook for 1 minute and add half the can of beer (don't drink the other half). Cook for another 10–15 minutes until greens are tender, adding beer as needed to prevent sticking. When greens are almost tender, add beans and continue cooking until greens are tender and beans are hot. Remove from heat and add orange pieces and grated orange peel and salt. Orange juice or vegetable stock can be substituted for beer, if you would rather just drink the beer.
 
Ken Peavey
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I can see this working well. Collards have a heavier texture than smaller greens. Braising will soften them up quickly.
All too often people look at greens and think of 2 methods of preparation: raw in a salad, or boiled way too long.
There's a whole world of culinary delights that can include greens.
 
Valerie Dawnstar
Posts: 296
Location: North Central New York
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So, are you saying your strategy is coming up with new recipes then?
 
Dave Kennedy
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Hi Valerie,

Sorry if I didn't address your question about strategies for getting non-enthusiasts to eat more greens. The blog format moves things along pretty quickly with lots off replies and comments so I'm not always sure who I am addressing.

New recipes is definitely one approach. Once again the Internet can be a potent tool for nutrition (or short movies about hamsters trying to ride little tricycles). Often you can take a leaf vegetable that you are unfamiliar with, say wolfberrry leaves, type the name of the vegetable with recipes after it into google or another search engine and you will quickly have some ideas for how to prepare it. I almost invariably modify recipes to suit my tastes and the ingredients I happen to have on hand.

A couple of things to consider with young kids and greens; kids have an instinctive defense against bitter flavors, probably an evolutionary protection against accidental poisoning from alkaloids, and young kids often have trouble chewing and swallowing tough greens because their teeth and muscles aren't fully developed. If they have one bad experience with greens it is hard to win them back over. So we try a lot of leaf enriched foods that use finely ground dried leaves. Cookies, crackers, smoothies, pasta, peanut butter snack balls, even birthday cakes. If the food is presented in a fun format (ie a T-rex cookie with a red dot eye) kids will be more likely to forgive the fact that it has nourishing greens in it. Of course, all kids deal with food issues a little differently.

 
Valerie Dawnstar
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Location: North Central New York
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Thanks, Dave. Those are good tips.
 
chip sanft
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Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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I like adding greens -- young greens, if mild flavor is necessary -- to favorite foods. Arugula on homemade pizza (added on top of everything for the last couple minutes of baking) is super, for example.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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Also, when adding greens to a recipe (like in stew or on pizza as mentioned above) for the first time, go with just a little bit. Kids--and adults--may not be willing to eat a whole bowl of spinach, but they will probably be able to eat one or two bites. We started off our little boy this way when he first began eating solids: one tiny bite at a time; now he's four and is happy to eat a salad or a plateful of cabbage.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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I think I have found out what is the problem with greens and veggies in general!
Sometimke no problem and I want only that, and sometimes I just cannot, yuk...
Where was the difference?
Sugar / sweet taste / fruits intake....

When I am on veggies, then I am as disgusted by sweet taste as the reverse situation!
So I have dropped the habit of eating a fruit as a starter for example.

I would say also to be regular with greens even if in very little quantities.
A little calls for more, and too much calls for a stop!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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photos!
green not so green tip...
and wok with clarified butter or coconut oil.
I also use goat cheese and lard, any fat meet.

Fat is good for taste and vitamin intake.
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