Here are some of the ultimate greens that we love to stock our cupboards with.
Kale has long been praised as a nutrition powerhouse. Low in fat, a good source of iron and rich in vitamin K, this leafy green consistently makes it to the shopping basket. If you’re looking for a dairy alternative to top up your calcium intake, then kale is a great option – with 60g providing 90mg of the bone-protecting mineral. What’s more, four heaped tablespoons is all it takes to cover one of your five-a-day, and you can easily include this in your next dish. For inspiration, why not try cooking this Mushroom, Spinach, Kale and Sweet Potato Pie?
There’s debate over whether spinach actually makes you strong like Popeye, but there’s no doubt that it has a whole host of health benefits. For one, it’s a great source of beta-carotene, turned into vitamin A in the body, which aids vision and helps keep your immune system in tip-top condition. And for those out there who are seeking a satisfying snooze, you’ll be pleased to know that this magnesium-rich food can certainly help – relaxing muscles for a more restful night. Enjoy raw or steamed as a side, or simply stirred into whatever you might be cooking up in the kitchen.
The earthy taste of these spears help add a touch of rustic flavour to your dishes. Plus, it only takes around five fresh asparagus to count as one of your five-a-day – an easy and tasty way to help reach your target. They are high in vitamin K which is used by your body to help with blood clotting and bone health, and furthermore they are a good source of vitamin A which is great news for your immune system and vision. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to incorporate this veg into your meals, try this Courgette and Asparagus Risotto to get you started.
A leek’s tang makes it a great ingredient to add a subtle punch to your meals. As well as being low in calories, it provides an array of vitamins to help your body function: vitamin C to help maintain healthy cells and bones, vitamin K for wound healing and fibre to help keep your gut in good condition. One medium leek is all it takes to meet one of your five-a-day, so try adding to a vegetable lasagne, mix in with your next stir-fry or use to top off your skinless chicken.
The good old broc has been a fridge staple for as long as we can remember. It’s great for flexibility as it can easily be boiled as a tasty side, or cooked into your dishes for a burst of freshness, but what goodness lies inside these little trees? Well, great news… there’s plenty! Broccoli is great source of folate which helps the body to create red blood cells, and folate also helps to maintain a healthy central nervous system. It’s full of lots of the essential vitamins our bodies need, including vitamin A, C and K as well as a whole host of other antioxidants. So, we’re happy for broccoli to stand its ground in our fridges for a little longer.