Seasonal Eats: Sorrel

standard April 5, 2016 1 response

This month’s highlighted ingredient is a green that I bet most people have never heard of. When I first got sorrel in my CSA box, I was pretty stumped myself. So I treated it like any other green. Which is perfectly fine to do. But there are a few key items to note about sorrel that distinguishes it from its lettuce counterparts.

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Nutrition:

Sorrel is in fact a perennial herb, from the buckwheat family. It has a lemony acidic taste, which balances and compliments many salads, soups, and dressings. Packed with nutrients, one cup of chopped sorrel contains over 100% DV of vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Surprisingly, sorrel is also a plant source of protein, as well as fiber with minimal calories. With just under 3 grams of protein per cup, it is a small amount but significant for a herb.

Benefits:

Sorrel’s high vitamin and mineral content comes with some significant health benefits, if eaten on a regular basis as part of a balanced diet. The high levels of vitamin A aids in maintaining healthy vision, while vitamin C can help with immune health. Potassium and iron are known to help with blood pressure and circulation of blood cells within the body. Sorrel may also act as a diuretic, allowing the kidneys to flush out excess sodium, toxin, and water buildup.

Recipes:

Test out sorrel this week in one of these fun recipes:

  1. Lemony Green Sorrel Smoothie // With Food + Love
  2. Sorrel Lime Cooler // Martha Stewart
  3. Sorrel Pesto and Pea Pasta // Begin With Nutrition
  4. Zingy Chickpea and Sorrel Salad // The Greedy Vegan
Sources:
American Heritage Family. Sorrel http://lichen.csd.sc.edu/vegetable/vegetable.php?vegName=Sorrel
USDA. Garden Sorrel. http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=RUAC2

Seasonal Eats: Carrots

standard March 14, 2016 Leave a response

March is all about carrots! These veggie staples are often taken for granted, the hidden flavor gem in many soups, stews, salads, and broths. But they are also stars in their own right, full of vitamins, minerals, and crunchy, satisfying goodness.

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Nutrition:

In a single 52 calorie cup, carrots contain 12 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, and zero fat. With minimal sodium and sugars, they also contain a whopping 428% DV of vitamin A, 21% DV of vitamin K, 14% DV of fiber, and 12% DV of potassium, among with significant amounts of numerous other vitamins and minerals. ¹

Benefits:

Thanks to the heavy dose of vitamins A and K, carrots are ideal for promoting healthy vision. Their phytochemical composition may also play a role in cancer prevention, blood sugar regulation, and supporting proper immune function. The presence of both soluble and insoluble fiber aids in digestive health and supporting healthy gut bacteria. Found in a wide range of colors from red to orange to purple, carrots can provide both visual appeal and nutritional benefit to any dish.

Recipes:

Give carrots a new spin with one of these creative and flavor filled recipes:

 

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Sources:
1 USDA. Carrots, raw. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.  https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2901?manu=&fgcd=

Seasonal Eats: Collard Greens

standard January 6, 2016 Leave a response

Almost all recipes that I make stem from local, seasonal food, thanks to my bi-weekly CSA delivery. This year, I am going to focus on sharing ingredients that are seasonal each month based on my delivery goodies. And all month, recipes will feature that ingredient along with other seasonal produce, proteins, and grains.

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January’s seasonal food pick is collard greens. Collards are a traditional New Year’s food, sautéed and eaten with black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year. But these hearty greens are also a terrific winter vegetable, packed with nutrition, history, and a variety of uses.

Nutrition

Raw collard greens contain 48% DV vitamin A, 21% DV vitamin C, and 230% DV vitamin K into one 11 calorie single cup serving. Collards are also a great source of folate, calcium, manganese, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. Cooked collards pack in even more nutrition since they shrink down when heated. A single cup of plain, sautéed collard greens has 50 calories, 4 g protein, 5 g fiber, over 300% DV vitamin A, and over 1000% DV vitamin K.

Benefits

Collard greens are a member of the Brassica family along with kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and even mustard. There are numerous varieties of the collard green plant that differ based on climate and the type and color leaves the plant produces. Plants in the Brassica family are known for their phyto-nutrients which have been studied to play a role in inhibiting cancer cell growth and protecting against free radicals, viruses, bacteria, and other immune protective benefits. There is also potential for collards to help with diabetes management since their high fiber content can aid in management of blood sugar and insulin levels.

Recipes

Start your year off with one of these nutritious collard recipes:

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Sources:
USDA. Collards, raw. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2927?manu=&fgcd=
USDA. Collards, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2928?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=Collards
Murray M, Pizzorno J, Pizzorno L. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books; 2005.
Vale AP, Santos J, Melia N, Peixoto V, Brito NV, Beatriz M, Oliveira PP. Phytochemical composition and antimicrobial properties of four varieties of Brassica oleracea sprouts. Food Control. 2015; 55:248-256