The healthy eating guidelines published around the world will tell you that you need to get 3-6 servings of raw and cooked veggies everyday. Dark-green leafy vegetables need to fill up most of that vegetable quota and a lunchtime salad is surely not enough. So, if your aim is to eat (or drink) at least 3 servings of leafy greens every day, it might be a good idea to include 1 serving in each of your main meals throughout the day. But, does that mean you’re stuck having salads for breakfast? If you love a big salad, then sure it’s fine. But if you’re looking for quick, easy and flavour-packed, the question won’t sit so easily with you.
I know. You haven’t really thought of more than a couple simple and tasty recipes that you an rely on for getting your greens in at breakfast time. But, don’t worry. I did the thinking for you 😉
If you flip through your best recipe books, you might be surprised to see all the different ways that dark-green leafy vegetables can become the star of your morning plate or shine as the perfect compliment to your usual favourites. Whenever you decide to try them out, you will certainly do a much better job of eating/drinking up your daily nutritional requirement just by adding a serving of leafy greens to your breakfast plate.
Below you will find 5 different kinds of dishes (with recipes in the links) that you can put into rotation for breakfast and easily increase the amount of leafy greens you consume everyday:
My favourite way to have greens on my plate, is in a stirfry, and most Jamaicans grew up eating ‘steamed’ Callaloo, Cabbage or Pakchoy for breakfast. My mother had filled half the backyard with callaloo, sprouting new leaves all year long, to ensure that we fed on those leaves, for what seemed like every Sunday morning. While some persons assume that salted codfish is Callaloo’s bestfriend, I have been eating my stirfried greens for years and prefer to combine it with other vegetables, like carrots, mushrooms, and various peas and beans. With the right herbs, spices and sauces, you won’t miss a thing!
I love wraps! All flatbreads count. Roti, tortillas, pita bread and of course, bammy (wafers). Mostly populare at lunchtime, wraps are great for breakfast because you can drop them in your handbag and head on the road without worrying about missing the most important meal of the day. To save time, you can always make them the night before, seal them up in plastic wrap and eat them chilled or reheated in the morning. You can fill them with leftovers from your green veggie stirfry dinner or fill them up with Romaine Lettuce topped with scrambled tofu or your favourite beans.
Some people don’t mind the green colour of Popeye Muffins, but if you are not yet comfy with the grassy hue, you can add chocolate to your recipe for a ‘secret’ healthy muffin. Your children and friends won’t notice the difference when you sneak in leafy greens into the sweet treats. Muffins are a great on those mornings when you are strapped for time, because they can be made ahead, frozen and reheated in the toaster oven for a wholesome breakfast bite that you can enjoy on-the-go. Perfect if you like meal planning and freezer meals, you can enjoy variations like Blueberry Kale or Banana Spinach.
That one summer holiday after I learnt egg cookery in my high school Food & Nutrition class. LOL. I went through my mother’s tray (yes, 24 eggs) in about 2 weeks! I made every version of scrambled eggs and style of omelette I could dream up. By September, I couldn’t stand the scent of eggs! But, I still love scrambling and folding fluffy batters filled with different chopped up goodies. Whether you choose to use tofu or chickpea flour to make your omelettes, you should try to sauté your favourite greens and fold them inside. Stuff your omelettes until they pop open or sprinkle in the leaves along with other veggies – either way, you are guaranteed a hearty start to your day.
You really didn’t think I would end this list without including a smoothie, did you? LOL.
The quickest, easiest and probably tastiest way to pack in a huge amount of dark-green leafy vegetables for breakfast is with your blender. With smoothies, the greens are liquefied, so they are absorbed much quicker than if you were to chew them; and the ‘bushy’ flavour gets masked by the sweetness of the season’s best sunripened fruit. So, if you haven’t started, it’s time to get blending. Then, when you find a really good recipe (the kind you think you should drink every single day), just be sure to rotate your greens. Don’t be afraid to try different leaves in your blends from time to time. The same fruits that work with the baby bok choy will go just as well with the watercress or the arugula.
Plan For Your New Eating Habits
While, you may be inspired to try any of these dishes, habits are hard to develop and even harder to break. So, plan ahead to ensure you keep your kitchen stocked with leafy greens, then decide which dishes you’ll make throughout the week to keep yourself focused.
Which of these will you try today?