Seasonal Eats: Kohlrabi

standard May 9, 2016 Leave a response

Who’s seen a kohlrabi before? Who’s even heard of kohlrabi before? I definitely had not before I started getting a CSA box a few years ago. This funny looking vegetable is part of the Brassica family, along with collard greens and Brussels sprouts. It has a crisp, almost crunchy texture, and a light, refreshing flavor. Once the tough outer layer is peeled away, the white flesh can be used similarly to turnips, potatoes, or jicama. The leaves can also be prepared just like any other dark, leafy, green. Nothing wasted!

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Nutrition:

A cup of raw, diced kohlrabi contains 8 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein, 0 fat, and just 36 calories. And don’t let the white flesh be deceiving. Kohlrabi contains over 5% DV of vitamin B6, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. It packs almost 20% DV of fiber and 140% DV of vitamin C.

Benefits:

Kohlrabi is a great way to bulk up meals. The high nutrient density and fiber keep the digestive system regulated. Fibrous foods also aid in feeling full, which can benefit weight maintenance. The variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals protect against toxins and cancers. Enjoy kohlrabi either cooked or raw, though the chemopreventive qualities may be higher in the raw flesh.

Recipes:

If you see kohlrabi pop up at your local farmer’s market, give it a try in one of these fun recipes:

 

Sources:
USDA. Kohlrabi, raw. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2991?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=kohlrabi

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=