Eight Salad Greens You Need to Know

October 13, 2014

Thought there were only a few bland types of lettuce? Well think again, here is SupermarketGuru’s guide to adding flavor and zing to your salads with tasty greens.

Salad greens come in many varieties – more than you may have previously thought! A big salad (2-3 cups) is a great and easy way to get your veggies every day. Eating lettuce has many benefits; most greens are a great source of vitamin C as well as vitamin A and other phytochemicals and antioxidants.  Here is SupermarketGuru’s guide to adding flavor and zing to your salads with tasty greens.

Arugula or as they call it across the pond, rocket, offers a spicy, peppery kick and is low in calories, only 7 per cup (most lettuces are low calorie) it’s also a great source of vitamin A, C, calcium and potassium. Arugula is great for giving any salad a tasty kick.

Bibb or butterhead lettuce features tender large leaves with a sweet flavor and a soft texture. Bibb lettuce is a great source of vitamin A, folate, and vitamin K.

Baby kale, chard and other greens are also excellent and delicate for mixed salads – most baby greens are an excellent source of phytonutrients as well as vitamins A, C, calcium, iron, and fiber.

Mâche is tender with a sweet, nutty flavor and can be sautéed as a side dish. Mâche was brought to the states about 20 years ago from France. Mâche is high in folate, fiber, and omega-3s.

Purslane is considered a weed to many farmers, but packs a huge nutritional punch. It tastes slightly lemony and is juicy and crisp as well as a great source of omega-3s. Store purslane with stems in cold water in the refrigerator to maximize shelf life and freshness.

Red leaf lettuce is another leafy and mild salad green with ample vitamin K and A.

Romaine with its long leaves and deep taste is an excellent source of vitamin A, C and calcium as well as being a good source of potassium. With only 8 calories per cup, romaine offers a good crunch and can even be used in smoothies!

Spinach is great in a salad or sautéed, it’s crisp and a rich source of calcium, iron, vitamin K, A, B6 and more.

What’s the best way to keep greens fresh? Lettuce tends to keep well in plastic bags in the crisper section of the refrigerator. Bagged lettuce and more delicate greens don't last long so purchase only as much as you will use within a day or two. Fresher lettuce contains more vitamins, so eat up!

It’s also important to keep in mind that many of the nutrients in our salad greens are fat soluble - they need to be combined with fat to aid in their absorption in the body. So go ahead drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil or flax oil or add some avocado, nuts, seeds and other sources of healthy fats to your salad today.