It’s Greens season!
This is the time of year when the first green leafy wild foods are starting to poke their heads out of the soil to enjoy the spring sunshine! Wild foods like chickweed and lamb’s quarters, as well as domesticated greens like kale and arugula, which can “go wild” in a garden like mine!
We all know that greens are good for us, especially leafy greens, and that we should eat more of them! But what, exactly, are we getting from our greens?
All leafy greens, whether vegetables like kale, collards, spinach, chard, etc. or herbal greens like nettles, horsetail, chickweed, dandelion, etc., contain the following nutrients in easily digestible form:
- Vitamin C
Stinging Nettle herb is one of the richest nutritional plants in the wild. In addition to the above, Nettles also contain:
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Other herbs are especially good sources of specific nutrients. For example, horsetail is a source of Silica and Calcium, making it a great herb for Hair Skin and Nail health. Dandelion Leaf is rich in Potassium. Chickweed and Plantain, both abundant wild greens, are particularly rich in Iron.
So how would you like to take your greens? Tea is always good, or fresh as vegetables. Green herbs can be tinctured in alcohol or extracted in vinegar. Dried herbs can be powdered and added to smoothies.
Here are a few of my favorite Green Recipes!
Drink Your Greens: Green Mineral Tea Infusion
Place equal parts of the fresh or dried herbs in a large non-reactive saucepan. Pour in boiling water, cover and let stand 20 minutes. Strain and drink hot or cold.
You can add a small amount of fresh or dried Ginger Root, to increase mineral absorption. Peppermint adds a nice flavor and is just as rich in nutrients as the other greens!
Drink Your Greens: Green Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened yoghurt
¼ cup tahini or sunbutter
½ blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 TBS Nettle pwd
1 TBS Spirulina pwd
Maple syrup or honey to taste
Blueberry or Grape juice to desired thickness
Eat Your Greens: Kale and Beet Salad
1 bunch Kale
1 bunch Chard
1 large Beet
2 large Carrots
1 cup cooked Quinoa
Toasted Pumpkin seeds
- Wash and trim the beets and carrots. Chop into small cubes. Add to large non-reactive pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about ten minutes.
- While the roots are cooking, wash, trim, and roughly chop the kale and chard.
- Wash, trim, and chop the scallions and parsley. I usually use around 4 scallions and half a bunch of parsley. Cilantro is also good, if you like Cilantro!
- After the roots have started to soften, add the chopped kale and chard, re-cover, and cook another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the cover, stir in the scallions, parsley, and pre-cooked quinoa.
- Strain if desired (some people like the juice), place in a large serving bowl. Toss in a TBS or so of Tamari, to taste, and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve hot or cold.
Enjoy your Greens!