Written by Zeba Due
There is an abundance of greens coming from the earth and teaming up with more fresh vegetables to add to the Eat Local Challenge opportunities here at the VFC.
Some are so new, specific nutritional information is scarce but all dark leafy vegetables have similar nutritional properties. Dark leafy vegetables are rich in iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They provide phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age related problems. Dark greens even contain small amounts omega 3.
Another not so familiar green food is the “Broccolo Spigariello”. These scalloped green leaves have a combination of broccoli, turnip, and kale flavors. These petite greens are ideal as a salad mix, edible garnish, and also in soups or casseroles.² They are here for a limited time only, so be sure to give them a try while they are available!
A very familiar green leafy vegetable is the Kale. A few of the many nutritional qualities of kale are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, Vitamins A,C, B6, K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, omega 3 and 6.³
Kale is also an excellent addition as a salad mix, edible garnish, in soups and casseroles. Individuals like to sauté kale in hot oil with a little tamari, salt, and pepper. Other people like it sautéed in butter with fresh garlic, salt, and pepper. I have also been informed that it taste great after pressure cooking for about 7-10 minutes. Blanching kale for about 3-5 minutes, straining, and freezing, preserves it for future use.