It seems like we’ve (knock on wood) finally made it through this unusually long, cold winter! It’s so awesome to see beautiful little green things springing up all over the place—it’s inspired us to dedicate this month’s blog article to some of our favourite healthy greens! Now, none of these are a surprise, but we find it’s always helpful to refresh our memory about which foods do what, exactly, to help ensure we’re incorporating everything we need and keeping it all balanced. Plus we’ve included some fun and tasty suggestions for how to use them!
First up: matcha, the queen of green tea. We’re big coffee fans too, but everyone processes caffeine a little bit differently and a lot of people find matcha will give them the energy boost of their morning coffee, but with a balancing calmness and heightened sense of focus. And it is full of amazing things. The phytochemical epigallocatechin (EGCC) for example, has shown clinical promise for inhibiting cancers while having positive effects on neurons and cardiovascular health. L-Theanine is being studied for its ability to reduce mental and physical stress, and boost mood and cognitive performance. Matcha also offers notable amounts of Potassium, Vitamins A & C, Iron, Protein, and Calcium!
Fun to Try: Coconut Matcha Latte
1/2 Tsp matcha green tea powder
1 Tspraw honey
1 Cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 Cup water
Warm the almond milk in a pan over medium high heat—keep it just below a simmer.
Boil water in a kettle and leave it to cool for about 3 minutes. Put the matcha powder in a mug and add the hot water—whisk together until matcha has dissolved.
Remove the almond milk from the heat and add the honey and coconut oil. Use a whisk or immersion blender to froth it all up, and then pour over the matcha. Drink immediately.
It’s not always the first thing that comes to mind with chlorophyl-rich green foods, but spirulina is actually a protein source via its phycocyanin! And while it isn't feasible to consume enough to make it your primary protein source it certainly makes a good contribution to your nutrition, providing a complete protein, containing 18 amino acids including all 8 essential amino acids necessary for human health. Spirulina is a effective source of vitamins A, B1, B2, E, and K, as well as magnesium and iron.
Fun to try: Spirulina Chia Pudding
1 Tsp of spirulina powder
1 small avocado
200ml of almond milk
1 Tsp honey
3 Tbsp of chia seeds
Fresh cut fruit, seeds and nuts, and/or dried coconut.
Add spirulina powder, banana, avocado, honey and milk to the blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour the blended mixture into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Mix well.
Leave for at least half an hour or overnight in the fridge. Add toppings of your choice and serve.
And last but no least, never, ever underestimate your everyday, always in the grocery aisles, leafy greens—kale may be almost a health food cliche these days, but that doesn’t make it any less nutritious. From lettuces to broccolinis, these green beauties are packed full of carotenoids called luetin and zeaxanthin (both thought to be beneficial for vision), as well as calcium, vitamin K, fibre, iron, folic acid, beta-caroten, and iron. And while little ones in the house may not necessarily agree, with think they taste amazing, whether eaten cool and fresh with a good dressing or hummus, or cooked up and served warm with some delish seasoning.
Fun to Try: Smoky Romaine & Avocado Salad
1 head Romaine Hearts (this recipe will actually work with any leafy green!)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons roasted pepitas
1 clove garlic
1/2 Tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste.
Arrange the romaine hearts on a large platter, or in a bowl.
Peel and quarter the avocados, an arrange them on the lettuce. Sprinkle the salad with the shallots and the pepitas.
Whisk the all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small bowl, and then drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Serve immediately.