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

Sweet Potatoes: Starchy Superstars

standard September 14, 2015 Leave a response

Sweet potatoes are my go to spud nowadays. They are so much more flavorful and versatile than regular potatoes in most recipes. And since they always seem to show up in my CSA box, there are always new ways to cook up this nutrient dense starch.

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Nutrition:

A single medium sized sweet potato contains 24 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, and zero fat into a little more than 100 calories. Add to that a whopping 438% DV of vitamin A and over 10% DV of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese, and you’ve got a tasty super spud. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of thiamin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper (source).

Benefits:

Make sure to keep the skin on your sweet potatoes when preparing them to get the maximum amount of nutrients available. The fat soluble vitamin A is better absorbed if you toss it in a little oil before roasting or combine with an avocado in a meal. With 4 grams of fiber, sweet potatoes are a great food to add to a meal to keep you feeling fuller longer and help regulate the GI system. Thanks to the manganese, they can also help regulate blood sugar and thyroid function.

Recipes:

Give sweet potatoes a new spin with one of these flavor-packed recipes:

Tomatoes: Rich Ripe Reds

standard July 13, 2015 Leave a response

If you were to ask me my favorite season, summer would not be top on the list. I know, its crazy. But I just am not a fan of the heat. Give me a spring breeze or a winter snowfall any day over sweating just walking outside. But the one thing that makes summer awesome? All the produce! Even with the year round variety here in Texas, my CSA deliveries are never as varied as they are in the summer months. This week I got blueberries, baby acorn squash, corn, mushrooms, arugula, garlic, and best of all, tomatoes. You’ve never really had a real tomato until you have a locally grown, in season, ripe heirloom or grape tomato. All those year round artificially grown ones in the store pale in comparison to the summer tomato.


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Nutrition:

Tomatoes are full of juicy nutrient goodness. A single medium tomato has 22 kcal and 5 g carbohydrates. But those little calories are packed full of micronutrients. Tomatoes contain over 5% DV of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin B6. They are also a good source of minerals, including iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper (source).

Benefits:

Thanks to their rich, colorful hues, tomatoes are full of antioxidants, especially the frequently mentioned lycopene. These antioxidants help protect skin cells against sun damage, promote eye health, and maintain strong bones. They are also linked to the reduced risk of many cancers.

Recipes:

Try a new spin on the standard tomato recipes with one of these hearty meals.