Five New Greens For Fall

Okay, kale. We love you, but we’re ready to move on. It’s time to introduce new greens to the kitchen that are just as worthy of the high popularity status.

Like kale, many leafy greens are more nutrient dense and diverse than almost any other veggie. So adding greens to a recipe can be the simplest, most effective solution to boosting the nutrition of your meal. In fact, based on the metabolic science of eating dark leafy greens, Registered Dietitian and Bionutritionist, Jessica Gutgsell, says we should make it a point to get our daily dose. “Think of dark greens as the ultimate multivitamin… but tastier!”

Gutsgell points out that you can tell leafy greens are full of essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients because they are saturated with color. Dark leafy greens are packed with calcium, iron, vitamin A, folate, vitamin K, and fiber. These boost bone health, vision, the immune system, energy, digestion, and prevent damage to our cells. On top of that, what most people don’t realize is that leafy greens are actually a good source of protein too, delivering 5-10% of our daily value in each cooked cup! Since every variety, from spinach to beet greens, has a slightly different nutrient profile, it’s best to mix up your choices throughout the week.

Ready to gush over some new greens? Let’s take a closer look at 5 types that may have slipped under your radar.

Five New Greens for Fall

1. Collard Greens
For Health: Collard greens contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which are powerful antioxidants. They also are a great source of manganese, with about 50% daily value in each cooked cup. Manganese is an antioxidant that’s essential in bone formation and skin integrity.
For Taste: Add chopped collards to your favorite soups or stews. Or blanch the large leaves to use as a wrap substitute.

2. Swiss Chard
For Health: The colorful red and yellow stalks mean antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds called betalains are present. They also supply magnesium, which is required for normal cardiovascular, muscle, and nerve function.
For Taste: Swiss chard is an easy swap in for spinach. Sauté the leaves and finely chopped stalks with shallots, garlic, and a little extra-virgin olive oil to top your whole grain toast.

3. Beet Greens
For Health: Beet greens are a great source of B vitamins that work together to boost energy production. Plus those deep red stalks carry the added benefit of antioxidants.
For Taste: Given their mild taste, all these delicate leaves need are a light sauté with a little extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and sea salt to enhance the flavor. Then toss into your pasta or risotto.

4. Mustard Greens
For Health: Mustard greens stand out as having the most vitamin K of all the greens. Vitamin K regulates blood clotting and inflammatory responses.
For Taste: Chop up these spicy greens to toss into your next stir-fry. Given their more robust flavor, we recommend balancing them with some healthy fats like nuts, avocado, or extra-virgin olive oil to mellow out the bite.

5. Turnip Greens
For Health: Turnip greens are an excellent source of folate, which is necessary for optimal brain function and cardiovascular health.
For Taste: Sauté these peppery greens and add to a warm lentil salad or toss them into an Italian white bean soup. You can even bake the leaves into chips, like you would with kale.

Now the only question that remains: What new green will you pick up this week?

Find some yummy recipes using these ingredients on our Pinterest page!


Jessica Gutgsell, RDN, LD, is a Bionutritionist and a Guest Expert with The Heart’s Kitchen.

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