Eat Your Greens
Remember, we are eating the seasons!
There will be plenty of all the other goodies so don’t panic!
I chose to hit bitter leafy greens pretty hard in the Spring CSA because we won’t have them at all once our Alabama heat kicks in (we are going to teach you how to freeze them in coming weeks so those of us who love them will never be without).
Because bitter greens are such an important part of the leafy green category, I wanted to take a minute and share with you some info about them.
1. They are nutrient dense | Bitter greens are packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. They are also low in sodium and high in fiber. For example, just one serving of kale provides over 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A and more than 40% of the vitamin C (RDI). Vitamin A supports eye, heart and kidney function among other things.
2. They are antioxidant rich | Dark green, leafy vegetables, like kale and spinach, and cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, are powerful sources of antioxidants, vitamins, polyphenols and flavonoids. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage, preventing chronic disease, cognitive decline, and signs of aging, like wrinkles.
3. They contain cancer fighting properties | While more research is needed, cruciferous vegetables, including bitter greens, have shown promise in helping prevent certain types of cancers. Dandelion root extract is already used as a "detoxifying agent" for tumors of the lung, breast, and uterus, as well as digestive disorders.
4. They encourage gut health | Research has shown that eating a plant-based diet provides a diverse range of "good" bacteria. Cruciferous vegetables, including bitter leafy greens, are excellent choices for providing prebiotic material to sustain gut health due to the fact that they provide “food” for the good bacteria in your gut.
5. They are loaded with fiber | Not only do bitter greens aid in digestion, but they are also high in fiber. Spinach, collard greens, turnips, and mustard greens are all fiber-boosting bitter greens to try.
6. They possess an abundance of magnesium | Eating just half a cup of boiled spinach provides 20% of your daily value (DV) of magnesium. Did you know magnesium has been linked to a reduction of stress and anxiety symptoms?
There are many types of these bitter greens that pack a powerful punch!
It’s not difficult to make them super delicious. They can be added to soups, salads or stir fry. They can be blanched and frozen for later use.
Here’s some of the ones we’re growing & you can expect over the next four weeks:
Sylvetta, Wild Arugula
Radicchio, Giorgione | dense, compact Castelfranco type. Giorgione balances classic chicory bitterness with pleasant sweetness.
Endive | Specialty chicory of the Trés Fine Maraîchère type, also known as "frisée." This variety is suitable for warm-season production, not hot, so it will probably be over by May 15th.
Baby Kale Mix | a brilliant blend of rich greens and reds that shows deep color contrast in all growing slots. Striking the right balance of colors and textures, this mix is delicious on its own or added to baby leaf lettuce.