Eat Your Greens!!

Eat Your Greens

"Eat your greens," your mother might have said at the dinner table. Or now, your doctor will say this to you if you are lucky to have a doctor who knows about nutrition.

Green Smoothies - Green Drinks - Kale Chips - and so many more recipes and blog posts talking about the value of greens in your diet.

It seems that we almost have to live under a rock to not know about the benefits of including greens into our diet.

But what if I told you that eating your greens is not only nutritious but also delicious?

Would you believe me?

If your answer is yes, I need to say no more.

If your answer is no, I challenge you to use this recipe and then, tell me if you still don't like to eat your greens.

Kale.jpg
curly kale and small broccoli greens in the background

First: What Kind of Greens Do I Use?

The answer is very simple - whatever you can get your hands on.
Here is a list of possible greens which is not exhaustive:

  • Collard Green
  • Tree Collard
  • Kale
  • Curly Kale
  • Russian Kale
  • Lacinto Kale
  • Broccoli Leaves
  • Cauliflower Leaves
  • Brusselsprout Leaves (younger ones are best)
  • Chard
  • Nettle
  • Sweet Potato Greens
  • Amaranth Leaves
  • Spinach

As you can see, this is a pretty big list of possibilities. But there are so many more plant varieties you can use.

After trying a few different combinations, you will find the one you like best. The more tender leaves are best when cooked for a short time.

What I Used

For the recipe I am sharing with you, I used Tree Collards from my garden
collard.jpg

Some of the kale you see in the first picture.
Russian red kale I traded at a backyard food swap from this lovely lady.

swap.jpg

You can see them in the basket on the right.
I also harvested some Broccoli leaves and some of my favorite green at this time of the year.

Nettle harvest.jpg

Yes, you are seeing this right. Some stinging nettles. So yummy!

A Delicious Greens Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Dark Leafy Greens
  • Garlic
  • Green Cabbage
  • Brown Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Filtered Water for Boiling

Equipment:

  • One Large Pot
  • One Large Pan - Cast Iron if you have.
  • Sharp Knife and Cutting Board
  • Collander, or Large Slotted Spoon
  • tongs

First, I took all my greens beside the nettles and washed them thoroughly. Then, I removed all the stems. You could chop them very finely and add them back in or you can give them to your chickens or your compost pile. That is what I did for this batch.

Chop the greens into bite-size pieces. Use way more greens than you think you possibly can eat - they shrink a lot.
Add greens to a large pot filled with filtered water.
Add salt - be generous.
Add peeled whole garlic cloves.

greensgarlic.jpg

We used 2 heads of garlic for the amount of greens you see in the picture (about 16 cups of tightly packed greens). The pot holds 6 quarts.

Boil for at least one hour - or longer. the greens become very tender.

Half an hour before you want to start the final preparation, add the chopped green cabbage and the nettles.

In the meantime, dice the onion and let sit for at least 10 minutes before using.

Heat your cast iron pan and add olive oil. Add onions and slowly saute until they are translucent.

Add the drained greens and garlic to the pan and sautee long enough until all the greens are mixed with the onion/oil base.

Serve immediately.

dish.jpg

As you can see, this dish is so good that it disappeared out of the pan before I had a chance to take a good picture.

A couple of notes.

  • Use your cooking liquid to water a plant. It holds lots of nutrients - or drink it yourself.
  • The nutritional value will not be at maximum after such a long cooking time. But people who usually say that they hate greens will like this dish. Look at it as a gateway to more nutritious dishes in the "Eat Your Greens" initiated person's future.
  • Experiment with different greens to see which ones you like best.
  • Plant your own little field of greens like you see below.

field of greens.jpg

This is my contribution to the STEEMIT FRUITS AND VEGGIES MONDAY COMPETITION hosted by our lovely Lena from @lenasveganliving

Many thanks to the sponsors @progressivechef and @gringalicious. And thank you so for your generous donation @englishtchrivy

If you want to join the fun - do the following as written by Lena

THE RULES ARE:

FRUITS & VEGGIES MONDAY by @lenasveganliving

Take and post photo of fruits and vegetables. (It can be variety or just one kind from the garden, supermarket or anywhere you wish, PLANT BASED RECIPES ARE WELCOMED)
PLEASE MAKE SURE THE ENTRY IS 100% ORIGINAL CONTENT!!! (images and text)
Use hashtag #fruitsandveggiesmonday
Mention the creator @lenasveganliving
Please copy and paste link of your entry in the comment section under this post. I always comment and upvote.

Also, remember that Lena is Vegan and respect that in your post. No animal based ingredients, please!!

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Marianne this is brilliant! Really- such a great post with all the beautiful pics and the recipes (did i spell that correct? Wonderful!

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hahaha - don't ask me for correct spelling. I am the worst! Thank you, dear @dutchess. So nice to see you. I have gotten so busy with the freewriters that I have been neglecting my friends. I am so sorry!!

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You don't have too dear. Its busy busy busy

I just love this post and you are right any green you can get your hands on is a good one... though I have some favorites such as arugula, moringa, and parsley.

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Those, I love too. Having a bit trouble to get a moringa to survive and the arugula and parsley - I love in salads. Well, parsley is so good for everything :)

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I agree. parsley goes well with everything. I am sure moringa would do well in san diego. You don't have winter's there either right? Easy to grow and you can harvest leaves after just a few months.

Just before reading this I had gotten an idea of making green tea using the spare from my broccoli boiling water. How green is that! And it was actually pretty good!

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If you are boiling veggies - the water is very nutritious. If you don't drink it yourself - at least feed some plants with it. Good for you that you had it as broccoli tea :)

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I thought it must be quite nutritious and would've been shame to throw it away. It's perfect for my flu with the green tea!

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Oh no! You are sick? Hope you will be better soon!!

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Ah, yes. These things usually take only few days.

Sounds delicious. I am curious why you let your diced onion sit for 10 minutes before using, I have never heard 9f that before. -Aimee

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Information is taken from this website: http://whfoods.org/

Preparation for Cooking

The latest scientific research tells us that slicing, chopping or mincing Onions before cooking will enhance their health-promoting properties. A sulfur-based compound called S-alk(en)yl-L-cysteine sulfoxide and an enzyme called sulfoxide lyase (also known as alliinase) are separated in the Onion's cell structure when it is whole. Cutting Onion ruptures the cells and releases these elements, allowing them to come in contact with each other to form a powerful new compound called thiopropanal sulfoxide. This new compound not only increases Onion's health-promoting properties but is also the culprit behind their pungent aroma and the cause of the eye irritation that results from cutting Onions.

The finer the Onion is cut, the more extensive is the transformation of the sulfur compounds. The stronger the smell and the more they affect your eyes, the more health-promoting nutrients they contain. So the next time you cut your Onions, you will have a greater appreciation of its "irritating" effects, knowing that the pungent smell that makes you cry will also make you healthy!

So, to get the most health benefits from Onions, let them sit for a minimum of 5 minutes, and optimally for 10 minutes, after cutting, before eating or cooking. This is to ensure the maximum synthesis of the sulfur compounds.

Heat will inactivate the effect of thiopropanal sulfoxide, which is why it is important to allow the Onions to sit for 5-10 minutes before cooking to give the enzyme ample opportunity to enhance the concentration of active phytonutrients in your Onions. Cooking at low or medium heat for short periods of time (up to 15 minutes)such as with methods like healthy sauté should not destroy the active phytonutrients since once they are formed, they are fairly stable.

You make it look like it might ALMOST be good.....So I'm giving you an upvote for that simple fact alone.

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hahaha - it actually is good 😛

and thank you for the upvote :)

Nice to see you Dear Marienne, it's been a while since last time you joined us.

This a wonderful entry with all the amazing leafy greens listed including beautiful photography. I love them and I always did, although there is still lots I have not try.

Thank you so much for shraing your wisdom and valuable advise with us again 🍒 🍌🍑🌿🍍🍓🍇

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Lena, believe it or not - every week I have the intention to join you and then, I look up from what I am doing and it is Tuesday - again!!
I barely made it today. Had to cut the post short to make it to my appointment...
But I am so glad I am participating. Love you Fruits and Veggies Mondays 😄

There are so many greens that are commonly thrown away while preparing a meal, since most people just don‘t know that they are eatable and even delicious!

Thank you for this post, making all those nutritious and tasty greens more popular. We have to get the word out there about their amazing healing properties - often more powerful than any medicine could be ☺️

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for sure!! It freaks me out when people throw the best parts away!! Like beet greens! I like them even better than beets...

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Well, in the supermarket the veggies often don't have the greens on them anymore so its no wonder that people get that impression. I myself am still surprised about what parts of fruits and veggies are also eatable and even super healthy - for example many seeds in fruits like melons, papaya, apples and others have great benefits which we should learn about and share this knowledge :)

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Be careful with the apples. Yes, I roast squash and melon seeds or eat them fresh with the melon :)

As a follower of @followforupvotes this post has been randomly selected and upvoted! Enjoy your upvote and have a great day!

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I love greens..and your pot of cooked greens look amazing! I would eat the whole pot if it was in front of me...

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If you were here - I would cook you one. :)

OK, I am not convinced that it is good. You will have to cook it for me and force it down my throat, accompanied by some pastries, preferably.

Hello @mariannewest! Your post has made me want to start seedlings lol! It's way too early for that here! I love most of the greens you have listed!

I am wondering if you have tried Red Ursa kale? I grew some of that variety this past year and I really liked it a lot! I also grew the Scotch Blue Curly which I believe is what you have pictured. ?

Another benefit to cooking greens is it removes the Goitrogens (which block Iodine absorbtion) even though it does remove some of the nutriens as you have stated. :)


Thank you for sharing your recipe! I will have to try it out!

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I haven't tried the Red Ursa Kale - the one I have came without name :)

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I have tried a few Russian varieties of veggies and fruit because they are supposed to grow well in colder shorter seasons... Hence, the Red Ursa :) The one with out a name sounds like an exciting secret that's been passed on... ;)

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hahaha - no secret - just lazy gardeners who do not label things like seeds :) Makes sense that Russian varieties would do well in a short growing season. Here, they might get too hot... :)

People always talk about eating their greens but I know a lot of people who live very long lives without eating them. I try to eat healthy when I can but sometimes I wonder if eating your greens is really something that actually extends your life or if it only gives you a few trace vitamins and minerals here and there.

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I think there are so many factors involved in good health - including our mental attitude, stress level, environmental pollution and the list goes on.
I think greens are being promoted because they have so many nutrients and so many people eat very little fresh anything. But eating greens like cooked in this recipe - boiled for a long time, is probably not all that beneficial. It gives some fiber and so forth.
I am just saying that people might become open to eating more - or other veggies. and it all depends where you live as well. I think in tropical climates, greens and such really need to be cooked since there is all kinds of diseases one can get. Like Hawaii has a snail if it gets on lettuce and you eat it - it makes you very sick...
It's such a big topic. but we know that there are people who smoked all their lives and did fine - but way more who didn't do so well...
Long answer - no conclusion :)

@mariannewest I love this post!❤ I've never heard about Tree Collards but it seems to be very interesting. I love leafy greens too and I add them to my smoothies and juices. In that way they have much more vitamins and natural enzymes. But I agree that not everybody like eat raw leafy greens:( So this recipe may them help:) I invite You to my post about tofu and tempeh, it may interests You:) https://steemit.com/food/@ilovelean/do-you-know-what-is-the-difference-between-tofu-and-tempeh-which-is-better

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I am all about smoothies as well. But sometimes, people need an entry to a food they perceive as not so delicious :)

Great post, @mariannewest! Sorry I missed it initially!

I was happy to see tree collards and amaranth on your list, not to mention nettles and sweet potato greens. And Lacinato kale has been one of my favorites for ages.

You mentioned having trouble keeping moringa alive; one key with moringa is to water it fairly sparingly in the beginning. It prefers to be on the drier side. A lot of people drown them.

Another green you may want to try, if you haven't already, is chaya, which is extremely easy to grow from cuttings, and should do very well for you.

It is also ridiculously nutritious, blowing most other leafy greens out of the water by comparison, and is hugely productive. As in every homeless shelter and soup kitchen should have a chaya hedge kind of productive.

I just wrote a long post about it a couple of days ago, and included a link to an even longer article I wrote some years back, which have a lot of information should you be interested.

You should be able to find cuttings easily, but if you have any issue, let me know. Maybe we can trade chaya cuttings for tree collards. ;-)

Finally, my favorite thing to do with the water in which I've cooked vegetables is to use it as soup base. I cook a lot of soups, which is a specialty of mine, and this is a great way to up the nutritional value in a hurry.

I hope all is well in your world! Steem on!

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Thank you so much!! Isn't chaya the green you have to cook or it is not good for you? I think I have grown it but we do a lot of green smoothies and I don't trust my husband with picking things if I have anything out there that might not be good in a smoothie. I think it also takes a lot of water.
And believe me - overwatering is not my problem - the opposite is :(

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Actually, chaya is a succulent in the euphorbia family, so it does not take a lot of water, though it is tolerant of brief periods of flooding once it is established. In my experience, it thrives on neglect, which is the kind of plant I like the most.

In fact, cuttings need to be cured for three or four days prior to planting, to keep them from rotting, and it is best treated more or less as you would treat a cactus, until it has started putting out leaves. And chaya handles drought extremely well, making it valuable in arid areas, including sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

And yes, it has to be cooked prior to being eaten, but for smoothies you could blanch the young leaves for a minute in boiling water and then toss them in your smoothies with no issues.

Older, mature leaves need to be cooked or longer, say 10 to 20 minutes, depending on what you are using them for, but their nutritional profile makes it more than worthwhile. And the water you cook them in can be drunk as a tea, safely, as boiling deactivates the toxins in the leaves, and leaves behind a multitude of nutrients. Or you can use it for soup, and either way, it is very tasty.

Chaya is considered highly medicinal in Mexico and Central America, and is used for everything from regulating blood sugar to detoxifying the liver and kidneys to strengthening the heart and lungs.

And it makes for a gorgeous specimen plant, with the large deep green maple-shaped leaves, and the masses of small white flowers standing straight up from the top of the plant. It is a butterfly magnet, but it is not invasive, as it rarely if ever sets viable seeds. It is nearly always propagated by cuttings.