Posts Tagged ‘collard greens’

Turning a New Leaf

January 21, 2015

This year, kale has been touted as a superfood that is nutritionally superior to all others. It’s popularity has reached a fever pitch, to the point that it’s trendiness is starting to wear on us.

kale

kale

For those of your kale obsessed foodies, we have some big news.

The Center for Disease Control just released a ranking of 47 fruits and vegetables based on their nutritional value. The CDC took into consideration the amount of fiber, protein, potassium and vitamins.

I’m sorry to tell you that kale ranked 15th on the list. I know you’re devastated. But, alas, there are even healthier greens to explore. It’s ok. You might find one you like better, and you can start a new trend of your own.

watercress

watercress

Watercress took the #1 spot, with Chinese cabbage, chard, and beet greens coming in next. Spinach ranked #5 followed by chicory, leaf lettuce and parsley. Romaine lettuce is 9th and the #10 spot goes to collard greens. With leafy greens taking the top 16 spots, it seems you can’t go wrong if you go green.
Of the foods tested, 41 of the 47 were classified as “powerhouses”, which are strongly associated with reducing chronic disease.

chard

chard

Those that did not make the list are garlic, onion, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and tangerines. While still healthy choices, they failed to meet the team’s criteria for classification as a powerhouse fruit or vegetable.

See the complete report here.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Is Kale the Holy Grail?

October 23, 2014

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For the past few years, kale has been touted as THE superfood to eat. It’s not the easiest green to consume. It can be tough, and even when cooked, I prefer to remove the center rib and cut it into smaller pieces to help tenderize it. Many people actually massage it when serving it in a salad to soften it up, and let the salad dressing soak in to allow it to wilt a bit. When used in smoothies, it takes a powerful blender to chew through raw kale to avoid those pesky leaves getting caught in your teeth.

That said, I do enjoy kale and have been eating it sautéed for much longer than fashionable. When something comes out of the woodwork and becomes such a health food fad, I always question it’s validity. ( Hello gluten free for all mankind!)

I set out to do a little research on just how king kale stacks up against the other less lauded greens.

The facts: Kale has 33 calories per cup, and contains 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protien. It has 9% of the recommended daily requirement for calcium, and 6% of required iron. Here is where the rubber meets the road: kale has 134% of the recommended daily dosage of vitamin C and 206% of vitamin A. Pretty impressive stats, right?

Well, some of the others hold their own against the king, with spinach, collard greens and swiss chard being worthy opponents in the nutritional competition.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 5.38.19 PM

 

*  via SELF nutritional data

The verdict? While kale does in fact remain the leader of the pack, adding dark leafy greens into your diet is a clear win, regardless of the type.

Editor’s note: In researching this post, it’s important to note that the serving size for each green is not generally consistent. Recommended servings of spinach are almost double that of kale, making the differentials closer. Several sites stated different facts, but did not have the nutritional data for all four vegetables. This data, from Self Nutritional Data, stated serving sizes equally, while others did not, therefore making it the best comparison for this purpose.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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CSA Tuesday

October 17, 2012

After last week’s bitter greens extravaganza, it was nice to see a more balanced assortment of produce from my CSA.

We got 2 butternut squash, an eggplant, a carnival squash, arugula, celery, radishes and collard greens.

There is easily the makings of a salad for the uncreative nights, and perhaps some butternut squash ravioli if the weekend is not too crazy.

I have been taking whatever is leftover at the end of the week and making “CSA Soup.” So far, they have been interesting, filling and very low calorie.

CSA Soup:

Dice a small onion and saute it in a little olive oil. Add chopped up “whatever is left” and add it to the pot. Add enough broth ( chicken or vegetable) to the pot to fully cover the vegetables.  Cover the pot and allow it to simmer until the vegetables soften. Puree the soup until it is smooth. Season according to taste.

I have used roasted butternut squash and kale, and spinach and  tat soi so far. You really can’t go wrong.

I have frozen the soup in individual containers, and taken them out for an easy, nourishing lunch.

Enjoy!

The Clean 15

June 5, 2012

We have written here about the “Dirty Dozen,” a list of produce that has the highest levels of pesticides and contamination. It is recommended that these foods be organic wherever possible.

There is another list called the “Clean 15”, which have the lowest pesticide load, and can be enjoyed in the conventional varieties.

These are:

Onions

Sweet corn

Pineapples

Avocado

Sweet peas

Mangoes

Eggplant

Cantaloupe

Kiwi

Watermelon

Sweet potatoes

Grapefruit

Mushrooms

Asparagus

Other foods, such as broccoli, cabbage and tomatoes have more recently tested cleaner as well, due to less pest threats, and therefore less spraying.

Many of these fruits and vegetables have a protective outer layer that gets peeled or removed before eating. This helps eliminate the toxins, which are largely on the outside of the food.

The current list of the most harmful foods tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, and as many as 67. Buying organic insures that the fruit and vegetables are not treated with harmful pesticides.

Foods that should be organic:

Celery

Strawberries

Peaches

Apples

Blueberries

Nectarines

Sweet bell peppers

Spinach, kale and collard greens

Cherries

Potatoes

Grapes

Lettuce

This lists were compiled by the Environmental Working Group, which is an organization made up of scientists, researchers and policymakers. The data used was supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture’s tests for pesticide residue on fresh produce.

photos: Glasshouse Images

 


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