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  • Sarah Hooff CHN, CSNC

Whats the deal with Leafy Greens anyway? Plus my new Citrus Miso Buttercrunch Salad Recipe!

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

Leafy Goodness!

Alrighty so you've probably already heard a million times it's a smart idea to get in those leafy greens, but have you stopped and thought on why nutritionists love them so? Whether you have or not in any case a little refresher is always fun! Greens contain a WEALTH of nutrition and are quite easy to digest. My personal favorite reason of all is that all things green contain the heart health, essential mineral magnesium. It's a good idea to sprinkle a little green on your plate whenever possible! Greens are also  an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, Bs, E, chlorophyll,  and generally the darker the green the more nutritious, these varieties also  include minerals such as calcium, iron, and zinc.

Alright so I'm a nutrition geek, the simple truth however is that greens are wonderfully nutritious, contain cleansing fiber, nutrients that bathe and heal our digestive system, nutrients needed for optimal health  and if used raw enzymes to ignite our health! Here are a few I love and their benefits for inspiration.

Head Lettuces

Not too long ago when when one thought of head lettuce nutrient void 'iceberg' would most likely come to mind. Thankfully today we have come to appreciate the more luscious varieties of lettuces and their benefits. Read leaf, speckled, buttercrunch and so many more have now stolen the show! Not only are these buttery textured, tender leaves loaded with nutrition they are such a delight to grow! Generally speaking head lettuces are rich in fiber, chlorophyll (the darker the varieties contain more), vitamin A, vitamin E and folic acid. Do keep in mind that vitamins A and E are fat soluble nutrients so to really make the most of your greens do add a good quality fat to your plate such as avocado or toasted nuts.


An excellent source of Vitamin A (again a fat soluble nutrient), just one bitty cup contains about 1200 IU of vitamin A and contains only 10 calories! It doesn't get much more nutrient dense than that! Vitamin A is ESSENTIAL for a healthy digestive system and needed for cell renewal. Thankfully this green is ridiculously easy to grow and will supply a steady amount of leaves for much of the year. Chard also contains vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and phytonutrients beta-carotene, anthocyans, lutein as well as sulforaphane and other isothiocyanates.

Excellent cooked as a side dish with a little quality oil, added to smoothies or my personal favorite Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea  Curry.


A very nutritious option indeed! These blue green gems are rich in fiber, Vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin C as well as the minerals calcium, iron, potassium and even zinc. Phyto nutrients found in these vegetables are glucosinolates, isothyiocyanates, sulforaphane, lutein, beta-carotene, gluconapin and sinigrine.

*While many of these vegetables generally speaking are considered very health enhancing there are a few exceptions. Certain medications may require a low Vitamin K diet (greens are a very rich source of the bone strengthening nutrient vitamin K) and some thyroid conditions may also require minimal use of vegetables such as kale. If you have any questions feel free to contact Sarah or speak with your healthcare provider.


Buttercrunch Salad and Citrus Miso Dressing

All winter long I had been dreaming of fresh buttercrunch lettuces from home to soak up some sort of sweet and creamy dressing! Haha sort of reminds one of Rapunzel looking down at all those juicy vegetables! Really, a garden is where its at!

So when Spring rolled around and we began enjoying the bounty I quickly went to work and came up with this scrumptious dressing. A little fresh orange juice (surprisingly one orange contains a whopping 60mg of calcium, who knew!? ), and in addition cal rich almonds, this salad actually contains a great little hit of calcium too. 70% of women do need to work on meeting their needs so I hope this tasty salad can help out some. Other excellent sources you may wish to play with are kale, collards, sesame and white beans. Either way I hope you try out this delightful salad this Spring!


Buttercrunch Salad and Citrus Miso Dressing

fresh Spring Greens, medium sized salad bowls worth

2 oranges, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/ 2- 1 cup almonds, slivered and lightly toasted

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley


1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup extra virgin olive or avocado oil

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1-2 tbsp miso


Note: This is a thick and creamy dressing, if you prefer a thinner version simply add 1/4 cup more orange juice.


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