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Discover unconventional greens for a new dimension of nutritional benefits

Ward off health concerns by thinking out of the box with these unconventional ideas for greens. 

Did you know that just 21% of Canadians are eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day?

The most commonly eaten vegetable after potatoes were lettuces and tomatoes, but with such a low number of the country’s citizens eating what’s good for them -- what can be done to introduce more vibrant and varied veggies into the diet?

We know we should be eating more of the good stuff to ward off health concerns, but what is the best way to do this? Well, one way is to think out of the box with unconventional ideas for greens. 


Delicious greens you might not have thought to try

We all know about the anti-inflammatory health benefits of many fruits and veggies, but sometimes thinking of different ways to prepare and eat them is tricky -- but it doesn’t need to be. Some of the most delicious and nutritious greens are already in your salad compartment, you just don’t know it yet!

This fascinating study shows how some of the regular veggies we have in our homes have unconventional green potential just waiting for us to consume them. 

The next time you buy radishes, rutabaga, cauliflower, or carrots from the store, make sure you buy them with the leaves attached. 

Enjoy the veggies as you would normally. Incidentally, try roasting radishes alongside your normal roots with a little oil and some herbs. They take on a whole new level of yumminess. However, don’t throw out the green parts of the vegetable with any peelings. Save them, wash them, and chop or shred them to have as part of a salad of microgreens with your usual lettuces and spinach. 

Do you have a dehydrator at home? Another way to prepare these same greens is to dry them out and then turn them to ‘greens powder’ using your blender and then they can be sprinkled into soups, stews, and even into salad dressings for a fresh, herby boost packed full of goodness. 


Herbs: more than just a garnish

We’re used to thinking of herbs as something to add flavour or colour to a dish, but not as the actual star of the show. However, herb salads containing microgreens are becoming custom now with robust tastes like parsley taking centre stage, to replace lettuces, adding texture, taste, and a boost of vitamins. Although it’s not to everyone’s taste, cilantro is also a popular addition to add piquancy and brio to a dish of otherwise run-of-the-mill salad. 

The same is true of celery leaves, again, they’re something many of us may choose to compost rather than eat, but finely chopped with vinaigrette they provide a more delicate taste than the actual stalks, which some people find a lot more palatable. If you’re a keen gardener, the herb lovage can be grown at home, which is a more than worthy replacement for celery in salads and dishes in which it might normally be used. 

Pea shoots and pea tendrils are both packed full of vitamins A and C as well as folate and provide a welcome boost as a side dish or when added to a stir fry in place of the usual suspects such as beansprouts or corn. That said, sprouts and beansprouts are now considered to be excellent superfoods, providing valuable nutrition and vitamins and a powerful antioxidant punch full of health benefits. 


Think beyond mealtimes too

Greens as a snack might not be something you’d consider, but one of the most popular alternative snacks to make at home (or buy) is kale crisps. They are super easy to make in your oven or air fryer and they can be seasoned and spiced to your liking.

The flavour of the leaves concentrates and becomes more intense and they’re exceptionally good for you and full of vitamins and iron. A worthy replacement for the potato chip and one that makes it possible to see how green veggies can make fantastic snack foods that everyone can enjoy.

Don't just think about lettuce and cucumber salads anymore, invest in microgreens and the leaves from the conventional veggies in your fridge to level up your dinner plate and give your taste buds a treat.