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You gotta love those leafies! Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and proven disease-fighters; leafy greens are something we should ALL be eating more of—pregnant or not.
This is the first in a series of posts I’ll be doing on leafy greens to help you incorporate more of them in your diet for your own and your baby’s benefit.
Summer is the perfect time to start. Not only is salad season in full swing, you can also hit your farmers market for whatever looks greenest and freshest (avoid bunches with yellowing wilted leaves).
In general, the darker the leafy green-the more nutritional wallop it packs. Some of my faves include spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, and kale.
These particular greens are flexible to keep on hand because they can be eaten raw in salads or tossed into sautés, stir fries, frittatas, and soups. Another bonus: Since these greens can all be cooked you can stash unused leftovers in the freezer to use later in cooked dishes.
I like to give my greens a little TLC when I get them home so they stay fresh as long as possible. Here’s how: Tear or chop into bite sized pieces (if you’re using a tougher green like kale or Swiss chard tear the leaves away from the center rib and reserve rib for another use).
Next, fill a large bowl or pot with cold water, gently submerge greens, and swish around with your hand to remove any grit from the leaves. Allow grit to settle to the bottom of the bowl, pull greens from the top, and place in a colander to drain. Repeat this process until you don’t see any grit remaining in the bottom of the water. Next give greens a quick spin in a salad spinner to dry.
Finally, transfer washed and dried greens to a paper towel lined storage container or large storage baggie. They should last up to 5-7 days in the fridge and having them at the ready makes it that much easier to use in your meals.
Of course most supermarkets have a wide selection of pre-washed leafy greens available too—baby spinach is a staple in my house and lately I’ve also been seeing (and loving!) baby kale salad mixes.
Speaking of kale; this week I’ve got two fun things to make with the Superhero of all leafy greens. It just depends on what you’re in the mood for!