Ever since the days of the Atkins craze, it’s become more and more common to forgo bread in place of greens. Burgers and sandwiches of all kinds are available at many restaurants with the option to sub in something green and leafy for the traditional bun, bread or wrap.
Although this approach is easy to replicate at home, you can end up with sub-par results if you choose the wrong types of greens for your wrap. Use our handy guide to help determine which greens are right for you.
1. Collard greens: Long a staple in Southern kitchens, collard greens are sturdy and therefore ideal for making wraps and sandwiches. Loaded with vitamins K, A and C, they support the cardiovascular and digestive systems, lower cholesterol and help protect against cancer, according to whfoods.com. In addition, collards are bitter, so many cooks blanch them before serving, says Choosing Raw. These strong leaves can stand up to just about any filling, including meat, veggies and hummus, making them a perfect choice to have on hand.
2. Butter lettuce: Also known as Bibb lettuce and Boston lettuce, butter lettuce is soft and tender, yet strong enough to hold up a filling, according to the Huffington Post. Low in calories with a bit of calcium, protein and iron, it’s healthy but remains an afterthought for many home cooks. With a slightly sweet flavor, butter lettuce is a great choice to pair with more delicate fillings, such as chopped veggies, tuna or a light chicken salad. This Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap recipe uses Bibb lettuce and is only 123 calories per wrap!
3. Kale: You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again — kale is a superstar, green and unsurprisingly a great choice for wraps. Known for its cancer-fighting properties and high concentration of vitamins and nutrients, kale is popular for a reason and probably not going anywhere anytime soon, says Everyday Health. Because of its leafiness, kale is best paired with roughly chopped veggies and meats that can stand up to its firm texture.
4. Cabbage: We’re willing to bet you probably haven’t thought to make a wrap with cabbage before. But why not? Although it’s not a huge favorite in the United States, cabbage is a popular choice in other cultures, particularly in England and Asian countries. Its slight bitterness makes it a good candidate for light steaming, but it can also be left raw if you prefer. With lots of vitamins K and C, cabbage helps protect against cancer and support the digestive tract, among other health benefits. Fill your leaves up with Asian-inspired fillings, or sub in a cabbage leaf for the wrapper next time you make egg rolls at home.
>> Not feeling a cabbage wrap? Try it in this Detox Soup!
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