Hello, Mr. GreenJeans here and today I’d like to talk a bit about my favorite subject, greens. What exactly are we talking about here? Well, certainly not the kind you find on the golf course… heh, heh, just a bit of garden humor there. But seriously, I am always providing Chef Cantu the freshest and most exotic types of edible greens imaginable. Perhaps you’ve noticed in the meals you’ve ordered. Greens add a bit of zest to an otherwise dull meal.
First, let’s discuss why greens are so important. One of the main benefits of eating a healthy diet, supplemented with plenty of greens, is that it maintains and supports:
Vision -That’s right, the old Eyeballs. Greens, in particular, Kale, Dandelion (What? The weed?), Mustard Greens and Swiss Chard are all good sources of Carotenoids, Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
Healthy Bone Growth - If greens have a slightly bitter taste, that is actually a good thing. It means they are packed with Calcium, essential for healthy bone growth. Did you know a ½-cup serving of Dandelion greens contains 78 mg calcium? Or that mustard greens have 55 mg? Finally, Swiss Chard has 54 mg and Kale has 49 mg. Now that’s a lot of Calcium.
Reduced Cancer Risk – Studies have shown that dietary consumption of vitamin rich greens like Kale, Swiss Chard, Brocolli, and Cabbage, as well as many others, have been shown to decrease risk of Colon Cancer as well as other types of cancer.
Well, if they are so darn healthy, why do we have such a problem eating them? Perhaps it is because we haven’t tried them. To familiarize ourselves, let’s look at some of the green varieties briefly.
Kale - Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. Curly-leaved varieties existed along with flat-leaved varieties in Greece in the fourth century BC. These forms, which were referred to by the Romans as Sabellian Kale, are considered to be the ancestors of modern kales today. Russian kale was introduced into Canada and then into the U.S. by Russian traders during the 19th century.
Dandelion – So many of us are accustomed to seeing this valuable plant as just a weed. Oh the humanity, Dandelions have lived with this awful stigma their whole lives. When will it end! Did you know that every part of this annoying lawn intruder is edible? That’s right. From the root to the flowery yellow bulb at the top and it’s full of nutrition as well. Cantu’s Culinary Creations has not opted to serve this particular green in their menus, but its value as a nutritional supplement is worth noting.
Swiss Chard - Swiss chard is not only one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean but it is one of the most nutritious vegetables around and ranks second only to spinach following our analysis of the total nutrient-richness of the World's Healthiest vegetables. It is also one of only three vegetables that we recommend boiling to help reduce its concentration of oxalic acid. Slice leaves 1-inch wide and the stems 1/2-inch wide and boil for just 3 minutes. We only recommend eating the stems of varieties with white stems; colored stems are very tough. (source: The Worlds Healthiest Foods)
Spinach – If it’s good enough for Popeye, it’s good enough for your table. Many people cringe at the mere mention of spinach but did you know that it has a myriad of uses? Many include spinach in their favorite smoothie recipes. It is virtually tasteless and adds a plethora of nutrients that are essential for good health.
In summation, if you are concerned about your health, as we here at Cantu’s Culinary Creations are then it’s time to take a hard look at luscious greens. Greens, there not just for dinner any more. Here’s to healthy living and loving the foods we eat. Bon Appetite.