Nutritional Greens

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Vegetable greens come in such a variety. I have a good friend and coworker,

Jenny D., who would love to eat broccoli every day. I used to be ‘addicted’ to

spinach. I love it in salads, cooked with oil or butter, or fried in combination

with other vegetables.

The Farmer’s Markets in small towns, U.S.A. will be opening their tables on

sidewalks in downtown’s, set up side by side with flea markets and coming to

a neighborhood near you: Soon!

Usually, here in Central Ohio, our farmer’s markets open after Memorial Day.

Here are some “Facts about Greens” you may be purchasing at

local Farmer’s Markets:

Greens are a top source of Vitamin K, essential to bone health.

The are abundant sources of Vitamins A, B, folic acid and C.

They deliver antioxidants which people are calling, “Super Foods.”

The bring us chlorophyll which helps protect us from cancer.

Greens are anti-inflammatory and protect our joints from pain.

Plant protein is packaged with phytochemicals.

They are rich in folate and calcium.

They have small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

Leafy greens have calcium which is easier absorbed than in dairy products.

Kale, turnip and collard greens, spinach, and avocado can be turned into a

variety  of “new ways to prepare nutritional powerhouses.”

(Nava Atlas, wrote a great article in March edition of “Natural Awakenings”

She also wrote the book, “Plant Power:  Transform Your Kitchen, Plate,

and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes”).

Smoothies and juices:

When you add spinach, since it is so mild, it doesn’t effect the taste but

increases the value of these powerful beverages.

A high speed blender is needed with kale and collard greens, since they

are tougher to break up.

Have you tried ‘massaging’ raw kale?

I have had wilted salads recently with this treat included.

Rub a little olive oil onto both palms and massage the kale for 45-60 seconds.

It’ll soften up and turn a bright green. I have done this with spinach and it

turns a darker green.

Leafy spring greens in salads:

Go beyond lettuce and add peppery watercress, parsley,  baby bok choy,

dandelion greens, tatsoi and mizuna (Japanese greens).

Combine with baby greens, bean sprouts plus any or all of your other

favorite salad vegetables.

Don’t forget how awesome fruits taste in salads!

I find this season of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries make spinach

salads so delicious. I have also tried apples and nuts, either pecans or

walnuts to taste wonderful with a tasty vinaigrette.  Sweet and tangy, yum.

Cooking:  In Stir Fries:

Add hardy greens like lacinato kale, collards or chard. Rinse and dry the

leaves,

then strip them from the stems. Stack a few leaves and roll them up snugly

from the narrow end. Then you can slice thinly to make long ribbons out of the

greens. Thinly sliced stems can also be added.

These blend well with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, bok choy, asparagus

and green beans.

Adding low sodium soy sauce, tamari and ginger for flavor really ‘rev’ up the

stir fry flavor.

Cooking:  Braising greens:

Did you know that braising ‘bitter greens’ can mellow out the flavor and make

it more palatable?

Escarole, broccoli rabe and mustard greens change considerably when you

gently sautee these. You may heat a little olive oil in a pan, saute chopped

garlic and/or shallots to taste.

Add washed greens which you have chopped up.

Stir quickly to coat with the oil and then add a 1/4 cup of water or vegetable

stock. (I sometimes use beef or chicken low sodium broths.)

Cover and cook until tender and wilted, about five minutes.

Additions to meals, you may not have considered before:

Raisins, toasted pine nuts, apple cider vinegar, chia or flax seeds, and ?

Please let us know of other possibilities you enjoy adding to dishes such

as soups, salads or meals.

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About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

27 responses »

  1. Great post, covered all the bases. I personally believe chlorophyll is highly underrated, always thought it just has to have significance for our health, energy, detox. Just my opinion. ☺

    • I am so excited since I have thought this when I heard it in science class, but never really read much about it. Maybe there is more on the subject since it is about 40 years ago I studied this in biology class. ha ha!
      I think we all need to consider our health, energy and ways to ‘take chill pills’ or calm down. Sitting next to a babbling brook or body of water can give us negative ions for a positive result, why not sitting in a garden or walking in the woods getting chlorophyll intake? Great one, thanks!

      • Yeah, gotta be something to it since infomercials are starting to pop up with supplements. Another good thing being offered out of context like Okinawan Coral calcium. As if nothing else about the lifestyle of those islanders contributes to their longevity, lol. ☺

      • You are so right! Living on an island or being able to get fresh fish year-round would help all of us, so much. My grandparents used to take a teaspoon of cod liver oil. It helped maybe in some ways…. one never knows!

  2. Yay for your farmers markets opening. I am very lucky here and have an all year market – as our climate is so temperate different organic greens are available all year round! At this time of the year we are thinking pumpkin soups and chicken broth and pan roasted vegetables and herbs in coconut oil and balsamic vinegar …..

    • I love all those winter uses of hearty vegetables, Pauline. I think pumpkin or squash soup is so delicious. Did I ever tell you that I made a stew in a pumpkin and the sweet flavor permeated it and was so aromatic throughout the house? A small or medium pumpkin can be sliced and served with the interior stew like a gravy over it. I included root vegetables (onions, turnips, potatoes, carrots), spices such as bay leaf and garlic, with beef. It could be done without meat but may need to include a vegetable broth if someone wishes this to be vegan.
      I love pan-roasted veggies, Pauline. Maybe I will have a rainy, cool day to enjoy this before the heat comes on full force here from the Sun!

  3. What a nice post! I loved all the tips — we should all be eating more plant food and avoiding animal proteins, imho.

    Being vegans, we eat a lot of vegetables at our house and one of the best kept secrets is beet tops.

    Beet tops are often taken off the beets at the Farmer’s Market (ours are open all year here in California) and so we are given large bundles of beet greens free.

    Here is what we do with them: wash them in lemon-water, shake in a collander to dry a bit, then, chop them into large sections with a plastic vegetable knife (to avoid discoloration), sautee them in garlic and a small amount of olive oil. We might add McCormick’s Spicy Montreal seasoning, but that’s it.

    Beet greens have no bitter taste, they resemble spinach when cooked, but taste much nicer and have no oxalic acid as spinach does. They are much more tender than kale or collars. They can be blanched if you prefer by plunging them into hot water first, but we don’t do that.

    In any case, I am a big proponent of avoiding dairy and getting calcium from dark cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, bok choy and brussel sprouts. And, greens.

    I have not massaged Kale but I am going to try that. Great tip and fabulous post, as usual, Robin. So full of creative, healthy and novel ideas.

    😀

    • Beth, your suggestions are lovely and help to remind people of better, healthier choices. I have had beet greens, along with a few different greens some may not wish to try. I like the carrot tops and watercress which have a strong flavor livening up a bland Spring blend salad. I like radish greens, too. My brother made a salad with over 6 or 7 weeds from his yard, which I feel he probably washed thoroughly. (I hope! ha ha!)

      I like the idea of lemon water to be the way to preserve and clean the beet greens, Beth.
      I also am jealous about your Farmer’s Market being open year round. We have a Columbus North Market, where they get shipments of ‘fresher produce,’ which are delicious and reasonably priced. It would only take me about 35 minutes but I just go to the grocery store or a little local community market. No one here in Delaware, Ohio offers year-round fresh veggies, Beth. You are so lucky and this is why living in a warmer climate is a great advantage!
      I massaged some kale, along with cutting the spines to make it more easily digested. Chewing is also important, as you know, with the greens, to release all of their nutrients.
      So glad you found this to be enjoyable, you could write a whole other post about this subject! Smiles!

      • Well your post covered all the bases. I am so crazy about a plant-based diet and how delicious it can be that I become a zealot. But one of these days, I will talk about what I eat and why and how well it is working out. Meanwhile, massaging kale sounds brilliant and so I learned something more about it, having only heard it once before. Oh, and chlorophyll can be taken when you travel, add it to a little water and you ward off foreign E Coli.

      • I am excited to know that you can buy chlorophyll and take it along on trips to avoid foreign E Coli, Beth. I also love to hear how you are making your life more healthy.
        I am not sure if you have heard my youngest daughter had JRA and she tended to have the different medications so heavy in her blood stream. While the white blood cells fighting her arthritis were ‘beating’ her red blood cells.
        In the past two years, she realized she might be damaging her organs, since they suggest taking Prilosec (to prevent ulcers) with Vioxx and Celebrex. She has been working for a year now on making her dream company, “Better Blends” a reality. A major company, which is pretty big around here, has offered her a contract to sell healthy smoothies in their cafeteria. So, you may already be on a similar path as hers. She has been able with daily nutritional supplement of Juice Plus and making fresh fruits, vegetables and beans, quinoa and other non-gluten foods her focus to take herself off her rheumatoid arthritis medication. Felicia does not consume gluten, most meat or dairy products. When she was 13, two different study groups were measuring her joints, at OSU and Children’s Hospital. They told me she had the ‘joints of a 65 year old’ back then. I am not totally going through the same plan she is on, but do admire you (and her) for your choices.

    • Balroop, thank you for finding this to be interesting and being so supportive! I am happy to hear you include and love greens and fruits. I hope many people will remember to make their lives improved to learn as much as possible about fresh choices available in their areas.

  4. Hi Robin, we are so lucky here in sunny Florida our Produce Open Air Markets are year round and I personally have a huge vegetable garden and herb garden. My family loves veggies! Have a great day. Ps I also grow lemon, limes, bananas, coconuts on our land! Woo Hoo

    • You are SO lucky! I love lemons, limes, bananas, coconuts and wish I could go outside and pick some. I would be having smoothies or lemonades or limeades, along with Pina Coladas, almost every day. (Virgin ones during the week… smiles!)

  5. this all sounds so good, and so healthy at the same time. perfect timing for the upcoming summer months and all of the fresh goodies that will be available )

    • I cannot wait to go to the downtown farmer’s market, Beth! My youngest daughter and I went to an open market connected with a flea market. She found a Fendi bag which fits her laptop perfectly. Less expensive and more durable than what she had looked at in an electronics store. We bought too strong coffee, no matter how much cream and sugar I added, it was nearly black. We handed hers to her business partner and friend Yonida, who loves espresso straight up! I bet you had a wonderful outdoors adventure last weekend in Ann Arbor! (Was it the treasure hunt? no need to reply…. I know you are always up to something! ha ha!)

  6. This story comes at just the right time. I just returned from the local food co-op with fresh salad greens. It is time to enjoy fresh, crunchy greens after the soups and stews that got us through the cold months. YUM! – Mike

    • You are so right, ready to have fresh tasting greens and vegetables, since we ate quite a lot of soups and stews, here too. I do like the way Pauline was reminding me of pumpkin soup which tastes as good as squash soup, along with pan-seared vegetables. I need to remember this when it is rainy and cooler out. We are in such an up and down in temperature period, Mike!

  7. I love adding avocado to my greens. The creaminess is a nice compliment to the crispness of most of the vegetables. I’ve actually started craving greens. I never thought that would happen!

    • This is such a great suggestion and explanation why avocados taste so good in salads. The textures compliment each other. Thanks for this tip! We grow and change, don’t we? When you mention ‘craving greens’….
      I used to crave avocados when I was pregnant. I also liked the strange (at the time) flavor of kiwi fruit. My family, I have to admit, usually had strawberries or blueberries only if in season, pineapple or apples, sometimes bananas, but we weren’t very adventurous with our fruits. My Mom bought canned fruit more often than not. Oh, adding to jello salads…
      We did better with our vegetables in the ‘good old days.’

    • Claire, this is such a great thing that somehow new stuff was passed on. I am beaming (smiling) that something I said may make a change and was ‘new to you!’

      • Yes, I’m really not a “foodie” but I am a “healthy” so ideas from more adventurous food people are always a great blessing. (I often end up eating unhealthy stuff from boredom with my menu.)

    • This was nice of you to re-blog and hope that someone may find a part of it which will mean something and help make a change to include more greens in their diet. Not always will it cost extra money, either. Especially, if they garden and choose to add more of this in their garden! Smiles, Robin

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