5 Leafy Greens You’ve Probably Never Eaten (But Should!)

November 19, 2013 at 9:49 AM | Posted in vegetables | Leave a comment
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Read this article yesterday on line at the Huffington Podt web site. Real good informative article along with some recipes. I left the link at the bottom of the post.

 
November 18, 2013
HuffPost

5 Leafy Greens You’ve Probably Never Eaten (But Should!)

Modern cooks are rediscovering the wide world of leafy greens. But how do you buy, store and prepare these nutritious, delicious superfoods? Covering everything from spinach to bok choy to nettles, The Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook will help you embrace the unfamiliar as well as offering a fresh outlook on old favorites.
Carrot Tops

Carrot greens are bitter, herbaceous and astringent, with a hint of sweetness in the finish. They are coarse and grainy when raw. The stems taste like celery but are too stringy to use…

 

Chickweed

The raw leaves are soft and delicate. They taste herbaceous, slightly spinachy and astringent. The flowers and stems are nutty, with a slightly bitter finish. When cooked, chickweed leaves are milder and taste faintly like spinach, with a nutty finish and hints of tea…..

 

Houttuynia

Houttuynia is an acquired taste, with common reactions ranging from dislike to disgust.

The leaves are tender and demure, but don’t be fooled — the flavor and aroma give taste buds a one-two punch. This green lives up to the name “fishwort.” It has a raw fish flavor, more than hints of briny sea, and is extremely metallic. The Chinese/Vietnamese variety is differentiated by its citrus accents, while the Japanese variety has cilantro accents….

 

Jute Leaf

Fresh leaves are described as bitter. Thawed frozen jute tastes spinachy and grassy but mild. It is mucilaginous (similar to Malabar spinach) and has an extremely slippery texture. It is disparaged as “slimy” by those who don’t like it…..

 

Komatsuna

Komatsuna has a mild but distinct mustard flavor. It is slightly sharp, slightly sour, yet slightly sweet. The stems are succulent….

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/17/leafy-greens-cookbook-recipes_n_4283567.html?utm_hp_ref=food&ir=Food

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Fall Harvest: Chard

September 29, 2013 at 9:04 AM | Posted in vegetables | 2 Comments
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Chard like all cooking greens, chard turns bitter when it gets too hot. Chard grows year-round in temperate areas, is best harvested in late summer or early fall in colder areas, and fall through spring in warmer regions.

 

Red chard growing at Slow Food Nation

Red chard growing at Slow Food Nation

Chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla), is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking. The leaves can be green or reddish in color like Bib Lettuce, chard stalks also vary in color. Chard has been bred to have highly nutritious leaves at the expense of the root (which is not as nutritious as the leaves). Chard is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables available, and is a valuable addition to a healthy diet (like other green leafy vegetables). Chard has been around for centuries, but because of its similarity to beets it is difficult to determine the exact evolution of the different varieties of chard.

 

 

Clusters of chard seeds are usually sown between April and August, depending on the desired harvesting period. Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender, or after maturity when they are larger and have slightly tougher stems. Harvesting is a continuous process, as most species of chard produce three or more crops.[10] Raw chard is extremely perishable.

 

 

Cultivars of chard include green forms, such as ‘Lucullus’ and ‘Fordhook Giant’, as well as red-ribbed forms such as ‘Ruby Chard’ and ‘Rhubarb Chard’. The red-ribbed forms are very attractive in the garden, but as a rough general rule, the older green forms will tend to out-produce the colorful hybrids. ‘Rainbow Chard‘ is a mix of other colored varieties that is often mistaken for a variety unto itself.
Chard has shiny, green, ribbed leaves, with petioles that range from white to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar.
Chard is a spring harvest plant. In the Northern Hemisphere, chard is typically ready to harvest as early as April and lasts through May. Chard is one of the more hardy leafy greens, with a harvest season typically lasting longer than kale, spinach or baby greens. When day-time temperatures start to regularly hit 30 °C (86 °F), the harvest season is coming to an end.

 

 

Swiss chard on sale at an outdoor market

Swiss chard on sale at an outdoor market

Chard has a slightly bitter taste and is used in a variety of cultures around the world, including Arab cuisine.
Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked (like in pizzoccheri) or sauteed; their bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a refined flavor which is more delicate than that of cooked spinach.

 

 

Swiss chard is high in vitamins A, K and C, with a 175 g serving containing 214%, 716%, and 53%, respectively, of the recommended daily value. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein.
All parts of the chard plant contain oxalic acid.

 

Fall Harvest: Arugula

September 21, 2013 at 9:00 AM | Posted in vegetables | 1 Comment
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Arugula_crop

Arugula is a cool weather peppery green harvested at different times in different places (winter in warm climates, summer in cool ones) but grows in many places during autumn. Look for dark greens leaves of a uniform color. Avoid yellowing leaves, damages leaves, wilted leaves, or excessively moist-looking leaves. A bit of dirt is fine – it is likely the result of recent rain or watering (splashing dirt up onto the leaves).

 

 
Health benefits
* With very few calories and tons of flavor it is a great green to help maintain a healthy weight without sacrificing great tasting foods!
* Arugula is a rich source of certain phytochemicals that have been shown to combat cancer-causing elements in the body. Arugula is also a great source of folic acid and Vitamins A, C and K. As one of the best vegetable sources of Vitamin K, arugula provides a boost for bone and brain health.
* Arugula has an array of minerals and high levels of Iron and Copper, making it a good substitute for spinach if you’re paying attention to getting more vegetable based iron in your diet.
* Its peppery flavor provides a natural cooling effect on the body – a good food for hot weather picnics!
* Like other leafy greens, arugula is also a hydrating food, helping keep your body hydrated in the heat of summer.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

September 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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If you’ve overcooked a vegetable with a leafy top, such as beet greens or carrots, remove the green top before you store it in the fridge. The leafy tops will leach moisture from the root or bulb and shorten the vegetable’s shelf life.

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