5 Winter Greens to Eat Now to Start Your New Year Right

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Enough is enough! Holiday bingeing has been a blast, and you’ve had more Christmas cookies than you care to think about. It’s time to get yourself back on track — and what better way to ring in the new year than with some healthy winter greens?

Leafy greens are a New Year’s staple in the south, where they’re said to represent a profitable new year. While we can see the resemblance between the big green leaves and America’s famous greenbacks, there are a lot of even better reasons why you should be putting leafy greens on your table this New Year. Here are five of our favorites along with our favorite ways to prepare them — get inspired by these tasty winter greens recipes!

1. Collard Greens

Collard greens are a Southern classic — if there are greens on a Southern New Year’s table, 9 times out of 10, it’ll be collards. But why are the Southern states such a fan of this particular leafy green? Not only have they been around for centuries in the American South, but they’re one of the healthiest green veggies out there. A good source of vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber, they’re also anti carcinogenic with diindolymethane and sulfuraphane; the former is also an antiviral and an antibacterial. What more could you ask for in flu season?

Our Favorite Collard Green Recipes:

2. Kale

The darling of the vegetable world may have had its moment in the sun, but just because kale isn’t quite as trendy as it was a few years ago is no reason to forget about this member of the brassica family! Kale is just as tasty raw as cooked, and of course has a host of health benefits, notably being high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium.

Our Favorite Kale Recipes

3. Wakame

Seaweed is far from merely a sushi wrapper — wakame is a tasty, deep-sea treat that adds many much-needed minerals to the plate including magnesium, iodine, calcium, and iron, not to mention vitamins A, C, E, K, D, and B2. A health powerhouse and tasty to boot! Wakame is traditionally used in Japanese and Korean cuisine, but there are lots of different ways you can prepare it.

Our Favorite Wakame Recipes:

4. Spinach

Who could forget the old standby, spinach? We love baby spinach in the spring, but in the winter, leafy green spinach is perfect for cooking into a myriad of dishes, always lending a bright green color and a minerally flavor. It’s rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as magnesium, folate and iron.

5. Mustard Greens

Mustard greens may not be familiar to all, but these pungent, peppery leaves are well worth a taste. A fellow cruciferous veggie along with kale and collards, mustard greens boast many of the same properties as these more familiar leafy greens, but they also have nearly as many glucosinates as Brussels sprouts.

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Image: nillerdk

Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.