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Benefits of Cooking and Juicing Leafy Green Vegetables

Updated on May 17, 2015

A Guide to Cooking and Juicing Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables include things like spinach, lettuce, kale, turnip greens, collards and other grasses.

These vegetables are very good for us for many reasons, and they can also be used in several different ways when serving them.

Here you are going to find information on benefits, cooking, juicing and getting the most out of these tasty vegetables.

Why Should You Concider to Include Leafy Greens in Your Diet

If you are serious about your health, you just can't overlook this valuable source of amazing nutrients.

Leafy greens are full of vital vitamins, minerals and photochemicals the human body needs. It is recommended that we eat at least a half cup of leafy greens a day to help prevent illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

To get maximum benefits out of leafy greens you should carefully choose a supplier. You need high quality produce! When choosing leafy greens, be sure they are super fresh. It's also best to buy organic if possible as non-organic could be full of pesticides. Make sure they are colourful, crisp and not wilted or yellow looking.

The following are some of these valuable benefits of eating leafy green vegetables:

Benefits of Eating Leafy Greens

Broccoli and spinach
Broccoli and spinach

- They contain folate, which is a vital B vitamin that not only helps our hearts stay healthy; it also can make it less likely that an unborn baby develops neural tube defects that cause dangerous defects. For that reason, women who plan on getting pregnant are recommended to take at least 400 mg of folic acid a day.

- They contain Vitamin A, which helps make our eyesight better, especially when it comes to night vision. Plus, it is good for the skin.

- They contain Vitamin C, a vital antioxidant that guards against things like cancer, colds, and heart attacks, as well as being good for our bones and teeth.

- They contain Vitamin K, which is good for the body’s cells because it helps them to absorb calcium and helps prevent diabetes through helping to regulate insulin resistance.

- They also have calcium, which is good for bones, teeth, muscles, blood and nerves. It is vital in preventing osteoporosis, which weakens bones and makes them break easily.

- They have iron, which helps our blood produce hemoglobin.

- They have potassium, which helps prevent high blood pressure.

- They have phytochemicals and antioxidants, including beta carotene, that help prevent cancer.

- They are high in fiber, which help digestion and bowel movements.

Why it is Important to Eat Leafy Greens

Juicing! Natural Cholesterol Solution: Juice and Smoothie Recipes for Cholesterol Lowering Diet (Diet Recipe Books - Healthy Cooking for Healthy Living Book 4)
Juicing! Natural Cholesterol Solution: Juice and Smoothie Recipes for Cholesterol Lowering Diet (Diet Recipe Books - Healthy Cooking for Healthy Living Book 4)

Vegetable juice as a cholesterol solution! Improve your cholesterol level in a natural way without harmful drugs!

 

What is the Best Way to Consume Greens

How do you prefer to eat leafy greens?

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The Art of Cooking Leafy Greens

Broccoli Soup
Broccoli Soup

Greens should be washed in cool water, be sure to look for dirt and possible bug infestations. Then, dry them off and refrigerate in Ziploc baggies or cook immediately. Some kinds of greens like kale or collards can be frozen for later use. Greens can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw is best for juicing and making things like smoothies or for use in salads. Cooked, they work well in soups, stews, and in side dishes.

When cooking greens it is best to use short time-frames in order to preserve their vitamins and minerals. They should only be cooked until they start to get tender and keep their color. Depending on the recipes they can be boiled (five to 10 minutes in most cases), steamed (two to three minutes, depending on the type of greens), fried (sauteed in oil until tender for just a few seconds or so), baked (depending on recipe), or microwaved (just a few minutes if plain, also depends on recipe).

To help the greens to be more flavorful and less bitter, you can add in any of the following things:

Try using chicken broth as the cooking liquid as an alternative to plain water.

Add in some chopped onions or garlic, or some crispy bacon while cooking.

Add in some butter or margarine.

After cooking is done, sprinkle leafy greens with balsamic or cider vinegar.

Cooking Leafy Greens

The Best Food Processors

I order to achieve success in cooking leafy greens you need to be well equipped. Let's take a look at the high quality, smart cooking machinery.

The Art of Juicing Leafy Green Vegetables

Green Juice
Green Juice

Many civilizations in the past have used juice from leafy green vegetables and other types of vegetables to help prevent disease and help cure illness. They were considered to be a good way to detox the body and help build up the blood. The best choices are the darker ones because they are full of chlorophyll, which helps to detox the liver and get rid of bad breath and body odour and anemia.

Green leafy vegetables used commonly in juicing recipes include vegetables like mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, beet greens, and wheat-grass. Others used include parsley, dandelion greens, chard, watercress, celery and kale. Some of these have a strong taste that some people consider to be bitter, so they are mixed with fruit like apples to improve the taste of the juice.

It's best to use raw vegetables when possible, as cooking can destroy some of the vitamins and minerals in the greens.

Juicing Leafy Greens

Choose the Right Type of Juicer for Leafy Greens

Girl making juice
Girl making juice

There are three main kinds of juicers: centrifuge, masticating and triturating.

Centrifugal juicers

This type of juicer grinds up the contents and then strains it through a spinning process at high speed. The pulp is ejected through the back of the juicer. It is a very fast juicer. One disadvantage is that it oxidizes the juice, so it should be used immediately. It also extracts less juice, as some is wasted through the loss of the pulp. Also, it doesn't grind wheat grasses and some other types of leafy greens very well, according to reports.

Masticating juicers

Masticating juicers chew up the produce fibers and break it up through a spiral and rotating movement. It is slower than centrifugal juicers and that makes the juice a higher quality. It is considered to be very good for juicing leafy green vegetables and wheat grass. However, they are more expensive than some other kinds of juices. In my experience of 15 years of juicing this type is the best for a job.

Twin gear juicers

This type of juicer is also slow and works via a two-step process. It crushes the produce and then presses it to extract the juice. This means there is more fiber in the finished juice. It also helps to preserve the vitamins and minerals. This makes a high quality finished product. However, they are messy and hard to clean up after.

The Best Juice Extractors

Juicing is very exiting activity, but it can be also very frustrating if you use the bad quality equipment. Let's take a look at good quality, dependable juicers.

Eat Greens and Stay Healthy

Leafy Greens
Leafy Greens

All in all, green leafy vegetables are a great choice to eat to stay healthy and help prevent diseases. Plus, when cooked or juiced properly, they can taste great and will make a gourmet meal.

Eat greens and stay healthy!

Good luck!

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    • Julia Cussler profile imageAUTHOR

      Julia Cussler 

      4 years ago

      @alice-cussler-7: Yes I agree. Omega J8006 is my favourite as well. It has no problem with leafy greens juicing. It actually can juice everything but refrigerator, only because refrigerator is too big.

    • profile image

      alice-cussler-7 

      4 years ago

      I am in love with green juice. It's the best way to get in a lot of healthy nutrients like vitamin K and iron. Because I mostly make a green juice ,I use Omega J8006 Juicer , which is the best juicer for leafy greens:

      My favorite recipe:

      1 peeled lemon

      1 thumb-sized chunk of ginger

      1 bunch of parsley

      1 peeled cucumber

      1 bunch of kale or rainbow chard

      1 bunch of spinach

      It may not looks so attractive, but believe me you will feel great after drinking it.

      Happy Juicing!

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