Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

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.

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*  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: It’s a Wrap!

December 20, 2012

This week marks the end of our CSA series for the season. I have mixed reviews about it. On one hand, I did become acquainted with a few new vegetables, and I did need to flex a little culinary muscle to use some of the items I received.

On the other hand, there was a lot of waste. Things that went bad before I could get to them, and things I just didn’t like that much that kept on coming.

This week we received more beets ( yum), lettuce, spinach and pumpkins (hence the things that just keep coming!). We also got butternut squash and garlic.
I have 4 day weekend coming up, so I hope to be creative and use it all up.

Spinach…That’s an easy one! Saute with garlic. ( 2 items used already!)

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I love beets!

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Roasted beets in a salad? That’s a no-brainer!

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People were leaving the pumpkins behind…they are heavy to carry, and harder to prepare. Late in the season pumpkins are not always so tasty. I will give them a try, one last time!

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photos: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Assignment

CSA Wednesday

October 11, 2012

We got our CSA selection today. Once again, it is very green. Our assortment contains 3 ears of corn, spinach, dill, red mustard greens, cilantro, taitsoi, and mizuna.

It will be a  challenge to use all of the greens before they wilt. I mean, how many types of dark leafy greens can one eat at a single sitting? Is there soup in my future once again?

Stay tuned for this week’s adventures in farm fresh produce.

Unrecipe of the Week

February 28, 2010

What better thing to do on a cold, winter day, than make homemade soup?
This vegetable soup is so easy to make, that it just isn’t worth buying the preservative and sodium-laden versions at the grocery store.

I cheated, and used some frozen vegetables. At this time of the year, certain things are not readily available, and the frozen varieties still contain the nutrients found in the fresh versions. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables. You really can’t go wrong here!

Homemade Vegetable Soup

Saute  a large, diced onion in a little olive oil, until soft.

Add diced carrots, celery, peas, spinach, corn and tomatoes. (I used canned San Marzano diced tomatoes and added the whole thing, including the juices).

Add 1 or 2 cans of red kidney beans, and / or cannellini beans, rinsed.

Fill the pot with chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Simmer the soup for an hour or two, until the flavors begin to meld.

Serve with a dollop of pesto for extra flavor.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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