Don’t you love it? The sun is coming out to play, nights are getting longer, and it’s warm again.
Summertime is coming and with that comes the desire for lighter foods and freshness. What better choice than fresh leafy greens, nice refreshing salads, and crunchy veggies? Love it up.
But not all greens are created equal. Some carry more punch than others, both in taste and nutritional value. Creating a nice green salad is wonderful and there are many amazing leaves to choose from. You can find a lot of good choices by going to the Green Issue Newsletter from Path for Life.
There’s a lot more to green food than lettuce and leafy greens. Why not add some crunch and some color to your salad? You’ll find some good picks in the cruciferous family of vegetables. These would be the cabbages, brussel sprouts, radishes, turnips, and the best known of the family, broccoli and cauliflower. Most vegetables in the cruciferous family have a biting, peppery, or pungent taste.
You can also add in some of the other greens. Think asparagus, peas, and string beans. I love to add endive and radicchio too. Kale is great for its superior source of cancer preventing nutrients and its richness in vitamin B2, B6, and Vitamin C. It’s very high in fiber and can be eaten either raw or cooked. My favorite kale recipe is below.
While you’re at it, give red cabbage a try. Cabbage is not something we often think of as a salad ingredient, but it’s a great addition. It has twice as much vitamin C as green cabbage, though green cabbage, on the other hand, has more folate. Overall, cabbage has more vitamin C than oranges—and without the sugar—and it’s a superior source of essential minerals, including potassium, calcium, and an abundant supply of vitamin B1, B2, and Vitamin E. Cabbage can be made into a sauerkraut or a pressed salad without adding much other than a little olive oil, lemon juice, and a dash of brown rice vinegar. It’s great for improving digestibility and promotes a healthy intestinal flora, while strengthening the intestines. Why is that important? Because your well-being and immune system are dependant on a healthy intestinal tract.
Green vegetables are packed with antioxidants and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. They’ve also been found to contain potent components that protect against cancer and heart disease. The chlorophyll, vitamins, and trace minerals found in green foods are essential to our bodies, as is the alkalizing effect for our health.
Green food is also loaded with fiber. Fiber makes you feel full longer; it slows down the conversion to glucose and therefore helps balance your blood sugar. That means longer lasting energy and no crashing. The fiber in green food is essential for a healthy intestinal tract, which helps you fight off GI diseases and colon cancer, and also helps in lowering cholesterol. Green food makes our livers healthier, which is one of the most important organs in the management of our health.
Green foods have long been considered medicine. Hippocrates said, “Thy food shall be thy remedy.” So mix up some variety in your salad. You’ll be improving more than just the taste. Remember, your health is in your hands.
3/4 cup organic virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice or juice from an orange
1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
Curry to taste
Pine nuts to taste
Wash and cut kale into bite size strips. Put kale in a large bowl and add the olive oil. Next add the lemon or orange juice along with the sea salt. Mix well. Add curry (or other spice of your choice) and then massage the mixture well with your hands. Eat and enjoy. This can be refrigerated for up to two days.
By Jeanette Bronee
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