How to Eat 3 Cups of Greens Daily
Your health may be a reflection of how many cups of greens you eat per day. Nutritionists and scientists agree that the more vegetables you eat, the better. Not only that, dark leafy greens seem to trump other foods when it comes to specific health benefits. African, Indian, and Asian cultures all have rich culinary traditions that include bountiful quantities of leafy greens. In Western society, treatment protocols for healing chronic disease, such as the Wahls protocol, include at least of cup of dark greens every meal.
Can you eat that many cups of greens? You probably can down a green smoothie for breakfast, and grab a spinach salad for lunch. But everyday?
Let me show you how other cultures do it.
Simple Indian Creamed Farmer Greens ( Saag)
20 oz. mixed beet greens, kale, spinach, chard, or mustard greens (about 20 cups of greens)
1 c. water
2 Tb. coconut oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 inches of ginger root, julienned
1/2 c. coconut milk
Wash the greens, cut away the tough stalks, and roughly chop. Place in a large stockpot with water and steam 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When the oil ripples, add the cumin seed. After 30 seconds, reduce the skillet heat to medium low and add the onions and ginger. Saute until the onion caramelizes.
In a food processor or blender, puree the cooked greens and their steaming water with the onion mixture. Return to the pot and cook on low until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes more. Stir in the coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 5.
African Spinach Stew (Efo Riro)
2 onions, chopped
2-4 Tb. curry powder, according to your preference
1/2 – 1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, according to preference
1 tsp. salt
2-3 c. bone broth
1 lb. stew meat, cut into 1″ pieces
6 large tomatoes, diced
3 Tb. unrefined red palm oil
1 tsp. dried crayfish, optional (but it lends the characteristic Nigerian flavor)
3 10-oz. bags of spinach, chopped (freeze then crumple the bags to speedily break the leaves into pieces)
In a large soup pot over medium heat, simmer one of the onions, the seasonings and the stew meat in enough broth to cover the meat. (Add more if needed.) Cook slowly until reduced to a very thick, mixture, about an hour. While the meat mixture is cooking down, melt the palm oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the tomatoes and the second onion. Saute slowly, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down and the vegetables form a paste, about 30 minutes.
Add the tomato mixture to the meat mixture. Stir in crayfish and spinach. Heat until spinach is wilted. Served with fufu, rice, or potatoes.
Chinese Wilted Greens (Fan Chao)
Growing up, not having a plate of Chinese greens on the table for dinner was like not having rice—it was simply unthinkable. – Shao Z.
1 lb. bok choy, napa cabbage, gai lan, or choy sum (may use spinach, chard, or kale)
2 Tb. cooking oil
1 Tb. minced garlic
1/2 c. bone broth
Oyster sauce, optional
Chop the greens into 3″ pieces. Heat oil in a wok or heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add greens and stir-fry just until coated with oil. Pour in the broth, cover, and steam for about 3 minutes. Leaves should be tender and bright green. If desired, serve with a drizzle of oyster sauce.