Leafy Greens Guide: 5 Recipes, and the Benefits of 4 Vegetables

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Work your way toward hitting your daily serving of vegetables by adding more leafy greens into your eating routine. High in nutrients and low in calories, leafy greens can give your diet a substantial health boost. Several varieties can be grown year-round, so you can always be eating seasonally when you add those particular leafy greens to your recipes. The vitamins and minerals in each varies by plant, and they have so many more uses that just salads. Keep reading for new takes on four leafy greens and their respective health benefits.

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1. Chard or Swiss Chard: Swiss Chard with Raisins and Almonds

According to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, you’ll be able to purchase Swiss chard year-round because it is always in season. Seattle Market Gardens says that the green is great for vitamin A, can prevent inflammation, and is a good choice for bone health. On top of that, consuming Swiss chard can promote better lung and digestive health, too.

Enjoy your Swiss chard with a hint of sweetness and a slight crunch by preparing it with raisins and almonds, like in this side dish recipe from Gourmet via Epicurious.

Ingredients:

  • ½ large onion, sliced lengthwise to ¼ inch thick (1 cup)
  • 2½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 pounds Swiss chard, center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped almonds with skins

Directions: Cook onion with ¼ teaspoon salt in 2 tablespoons oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Sprinkle with paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chard in batches, stirring frequently, until wilted, then add raisins and water. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt.

Cook almonds in remaining ½ tablespoon oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle almonds over chard.

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