Monday, April 26, 2010

Greens, By All Means!

So, we know that leafy greens are nutritional superstars, but most people are only familiar with lettuce and spinach. Expand your repertoire and try some powerhouse greens such as kale, collards, or Swiss chard. Kale is one of the milder varieties and contains 1,100% more vit. C than cooked spinach and as much calcium as 3/4 cup milk. And unlike spinach, kale's oxalate content is very low, making the iron and calcium more absorbable in the digestive tract. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps improve bone density by regulating calcitonin - a hormone that locks the calcium into the bone matrix.
The simplest way to cook freshly washed greens is to saute them with some garlic olive oil until soft. Squeese on some lemon juice or add a dash of wine vinegar. For variety, try adding chick peas, diced tomato or red pepper flakes. They also make great additions to your favorite soups; toss them into lentil or bean soups. Simmer them in chicken stock with sausage or smoked turkey. Stir into a pan with sliced shiitake mushroom caps sauteed in sesame seed oil and season with soy sauce, vinegar, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Either way, you've got a delicious new side dish that's cheap, even if you buy them in pre-cut bags.

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