Because a large part of our contract foodservices involves corporate dining services, airport restaurants, private and event catering, and K-12 and college dining, we know that greens have become a hot topic, given the fact that many cafeterias and restaurants are offering up healthier dining options these days – including salads. It seems that kale has become all the rage recently, which may leave you wondering whether other greens are also the “superfood” kale claims to be. Not to worry; nearly all greens are packed with nutrients!
Romaine, bib, and green leaf lettuce are what make a salad, and offer that satisfying “crunch” factor. While it’s true that darker greens are more nutrient dense, even these lighter greens offer up a healthy dose of vitamin A and vitamin K! Romaine also provides potassium and vitamin C, so you can feel good about the Greek or Caesar salad – as long as you aren’t drowning it in dressing.
What about other greens like dandelion or turnip greens, watercress, or even collard greens? While kale seems to be stealing the spotlight these days, there are lots of other, even “greener,” options that are high performers when it comes to nutritional value.
Wild greens, weeds, or whatever else you may call them, dandelion greens are becoming more common at farmers’ markets, health-food stores, and even in local grocery stores. How can you enjoy these nutritious wild greens? In fresh pesto, as an ingredient in soups, or sautéed up with other tasty vegetables and whole grains.
Watercress is REALLY the superfood, having been ranked the food that’s most nutrient dense out of more than 40 vegetables by the CDC in 2014. Added to soup, pasta, salad, or any other way you can imagine, this is one mighty nutritious green!
Even though they’re typically only well-known in the South, collard greens are delicious, versatile, and great in stews, soups, or even eaten on their own, after steaming or cooking to a soft texture. If you’re looking to boost the iron, calcium, folate, magnesium, and vitamins A, C and K in your menu, go for collard greens.
Turnip and beet greens are tasty when cooked with a bit of olive oil, spices, and dash of salt, and are a great source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and phytonutrients, which help reduce blood pressure and inflammation. There are many ways to use turnip and beet greens in your dishes, whether creating a pesto, soup, or side dish. Add in some garlic or red pepper, potatoes, or other vegetables of your choice.
There are countless ways to incorporate good-for-you greens into your menu, and with dining options trending toward healthier eating, now is your chance to be creative and whip up new menu options that will attract attention!
Gourmet Services, Inc. believes in quality, healthy foods and ingredients that bring freshness and great taste to the table. For all of your foodservices management needs, count on our team to deliver beyond your expectations.