Monday, December 1, 2008
Ingredient of the Day: Dark Green Vegetables Spotlight!
Kale, Swiss Chard and Spinach
Today I am discussing multiple varieties of greens that are very good for you: kale, swiss chard and spinach. My favorite out of the three is kale. It is a delicious and strong flavored green filled with tons of vitamins and minerals. And no, these greens are not just for garnishing a plate! They actually serve an important role in keeping us healthy and strong.
Kale: There are many types of kale, but for the most part these amazing greens are usually dark emerald green with a grayish tint. Kale is a member of the cabbage family, along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and collard greens. It is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, and is also a great anti-inflammatory.
Swiss Chard: Also known as Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach, Crab Beet and Mangold, this is also a delicious green. Chard is very bitter and can be used in sautéed dishes or in salads if it is young enough. Swiss Chard stems are one of my most favorite parts about the plant. They look like they belong in a candy store with their brilliant array of colors ranging from red to yellow to white.
Spinach: Typical and familiar, spinach is one of the most popular dark greens around. I was amazed to learn that spinach actually contains more iron than a hamburger. Spinach is also loaded with vitamins A and K, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6. So as you can see, there are tons of reasons to eat this delicious vegetable. I personally like baby spinach versus big hearty spinach. It tends to have a milder taste and works best in salads.