The Benefits of Greens and Microgreens

The Benefits of Greens and Microgreens

By Makaela Willis, Marketing & Owner Services Assistant

“Greens! Greens! Nothing but Greens!” – The Witch from Into the Woods the Musical
There are many kinds of leafy green vegetables from lettuce and herbs to microgreens and everything in-between. While lots of people do not like green vegetables, they are so good for you and have many benefits to your health! It can be overwhelming to look at the produce aisle and know exactly what you want to have and why they are good for you. So I did the hard work for you and put it all in one place for your convenience.
So, let’s start with the types of Leafy Greens! I am sure there are more types of leafy green veggies out there, but this list is a great place to start and includes some of the most popular or healthiest:

  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Bib Lettuce
  • Collard Greens
  • Parsley
  • Broccoli
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Chard (Swiss & Rainbow)
  • Mustard Greens
  • Endive
  • Beet Greens
  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Turnip Greens

The Benefits of Leafy Greens:
Leafy greens are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. They have lots of vitamins, antioxidants, high levels of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and folate. Many sources say that these leafy greens can help with reduce the risk of cancer, improve your physical health, and help regulate your digestive system.

How to use/Recipes:
Leafy greens can be used in so many ways – from salads to sandwiches and soups to casseroles, or blended into a smoothie with your other fruits and veggies.
Here are some tasty recipes from other co-ops that feature great greens:
Roasted Caramelized Brussels Sprout Salad
Collard Greens and Black eyed Peas
Salad Greens

Here at the Co-op we carry many types of greens, some seasonally and some year round. A few of our favorites are: Organic Spinach, Organic Spring Mix, Organic Arugula, Wild Ramps, Organic Lacinato “Dino” and Curly Kale, Organic Green Leaf Lettuce, Leeks, Organic Red and Green Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, many packaged herbs and potted herbs, fresh Organic Italian and Curly Parsley, Organic Cilantro, Organic Bib Lettuce, Baby Bok Choy, Microgreens, and Organic Broccoli

There are so many different types of microgreens, from basic herbs like mint to full grown vegetables, but microgreens are just the seedlings or sprouts of those different herbs and veggies.
Here are a few popular varieties:
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Arugula
• Radish
• Kale
• Turnip
• Beetroot
• Cress
• Peas
• Sunflowers

The Benefits of Microgreens: There are many benefits to eating microgreens. They are a great source of vitamin A, E, C and K, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, and zinc. Broccoli sprouts have been the subject of much scientific attention, as some studies indicate they may have a high potential for cancer prevention due to their high concentration of sulfurophane. Each variety has their own unique mix of vitamins and minerals.

How to use/Recipes:
Microgreens can be used in many things and are very similar to larger leafy greens. They can be used in salads, smoothies, soups, and other dishes or as an attractive edible garnish. To learn more, check out this NCG article on Sprouts. We even carry a variety of local microgreens here at GreenTree! The farm they come from is called Mittchigan Microgreens and they are located in Alma. We suggest trying a few different flavors to find out which ones you like best. And make sure to check out the informational tags for each variety to learn more about their benefits.

These are some of the varieties they offer:
• Sunflower
• Basic Salad
• Peas
• Wasabi Mustard
• Radish
• Broccoli
• Confetti
• Kale
• Spicy Salad
• Sulforaphane
• Arugula

Of course, we’ve always loved our greens at GreenTree. Here are a few throwback recipes you might enjoy:
How to use up Kale
Colorful Potato Salad Recipe

So, if you are looking for a way to not turn on the oven or stove during the hot summer months, try making a new spin on different salads by adding some new green veggies into them! I know I will be trying this out for myself. What new ways can you use leafy greens in your meals?

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