Leafy greens are chock full of essential vitamins and nutrients, but you might be surprised by how tasty they can also be with some prep.

Collard greens

Loaded with fiber, collard greens are known for their cholesterol-lowering abilities. Raw collard green leaves can be chopped and tossed into salad with berries and creamy goat cheese to counter the slightly bitter taste of the leaves. Or chop the leaves, ribs, and stems and sauté with onion, garlic and white wine and toss with pasta or ravioli. Also try blending into your favorite pesto or bean dip recipe.

Dandelion greens

This bone-building green with a fresh and zesty flavor is loaded with significant amounts of vitamin K (which helps keep calcium in bones) and calcium. Blend dandelion greens into a smoothie, sauté into a stir-fry or toss fresh in a salad.

Kale

This popular super green is loaded with vitamins (A and C most prominently) and minerals calcium and magnesium, and contains many anti-cancer properties. Chopped kale, with its earthy, slightly tangy flavor, is a satisfying addition to soup recipes. Or try a unique slaw topping for tacos and sandwiches by tossing thinly chopped kale, red cabbage, shredded carrot, toasted sesame oil, citrus juice, salt, and pepper.

Swiss and rainbow chard

Packed with phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, chard cannot be overlooked as one of the healthiest vegetables out there (it also helps regulate blood pressure). The leaves are mild and similar to beet greens, but the stems and ribs are more bitter, so they taste best cooked. Rainbow chard is a fun and colorful addition to soups, or sauté any chard with olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss with roasted squash for a nutrient-rich side dish.

Watercress


This crisp and peppery green is a great source of antioxidants from vitamins A and C, while the high water content acts as a digestive aid. Watercress, similar to arugula, is the perfect substitute for lettuce in salads and on sandwiches, or tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a bright pizza topping.

Turnip and beet greens

Ever wonder what to do with the greens sprouting out of your favorite root vegetables?  Green up some classic recipes with a healthy dose of vitamins A, C and K, along with essential minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron. Beet greens are the mildest tasting and resemble spinach in flavor while turnip greens, along with mustard greens, are a bit more spicy. All of these are delicious sautéed until tender with vegetable stock, olive oil, salt and pepper, and used in place of spinach in lasagna, or tossed with peppers and onions for enchilada filling.

Prepping Your Greens

Gently wash greens in a colander and pat dry with a paper towel. If not preparing immediately, use the same damp paper towel to cover the greens and store in a plastic storage bag in the fridge.