Greens for Natural Health
Last night I went into the garden and cut some chard – some green chard and some Swiss chard. I came inside and put a little EVOO (thank you, Rachel Ray!) in a pan, and put the chard in and covered it. I stirred it every once in a while – just for two minutes. I put it on a plate, salted it and ate it! Pure heaven on a plate.
Popeye was right! Eat your greens and be healthy. Leafy greens are packed with nutrients, especially vitamin C, calcium, folate, lutein and beta carotene. One cup of cooked spinach or Swiss chard will provide us naturally beautiful women with about a third of the USDA daily recommendation of iron (and naturally healthy men take note – that cup of chard will give you guys half the recommendation).
Eat Your Greens
Here’s a list of leafy greens that are available right now: Dandelion, arugula, kale, collard, mustard, spinach, watercress, Swiss chard, green chard, bok choy, broccoli rabe, sorrel, purslane, chicory, and all the lettuces – Romaine, Bibb, butter, Boston, mesclun, iceberg (just kidding!). Whether you put them in a salad, or saute them like I did last night – you’re in for a treat!
D is for Detox Fruits & Vegies
The air we breathe, the water we drink and food we eat can be heavily laden with destructive chemicals and pollution. It would be hard for us to live in the world and avoid harmful toxins, so we have to find ways to protect our natural health and preserve our natural beauty.
One easy way to do this is to flush out the toxins with nutritional detoxification foods and drinks. These act to go through our bloodstreams and wash away what’s bad, while leaving behind good, naturally healthy nutrition. And in the process, these detox foods and drinks can help us to lose weight.
Ginger, peppermint and dandelion tea are three wonderful teas to brew to detox. Peppermint tea prevents nausea and relieves indigestion, as does ginger tea. Green tea can help to reduce cholesterol. And as we discussed in D is for Dandelion, dandelions aid in cleansing the liver.
Some of the best foods to eat for detoxifying the body are the citrus fruits – lemons and limes, broccoli, apples, artichokes, asparagus, garlic, ginger, parsley, sea vegetables, and drink lots and lots of water!
D is for Dandelion
Dandelion, that pesky little weed that seems to grow everywhere and anywhere. I remember it as being the fluff we blew away into the air. Or the stuff that made me sneeze all summer long.
Today, in the days of edible flowers and gourmet salad greens, the once lowly dandelion has been elevated to a status worthy of being served in a 5 star restaurant.
The young leaves are a delightful addition to any salad. And the older leaves, although a little bitter, can be cooked and served just like spinach. Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc.
SAUTEED DANDELION GREENS
- 3 pound dandelion greens, tough lower stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Cook greens in a 10-to 12-quart pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 8 quarts water), uncovered, until ribs are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking and drain well, gently pressing out excess water.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic and red-pepper flakes, stirring, until pale golden, about 45 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high, then add greens and sea salt and sauté until coated with oil and heated through, about 4 minutes.