Green leafy vegetables

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

Right now, you can find lots of dark green leavy vegetables at the Citizens National Bank Pavilion, and other Roadside Markets. Check with your farmers for the freshest produce. Dark green leafy vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids and act as antioxidants in the body. They are an excellent source of fiber, folate, and carotenoids. These vegetables also contain vitamins C and K and the minerals iron and calcium. Some of the types of dark, green, leafy vegetables include arugula, spinach, leaf lettuce, kale, collard green, romaine lettuce, chicory and swiss chard.

The substance in dark green leafy vegetables remove free radicals from the body before they become harmful. The body needs a little dietary fat to absorb the carotenoids and vitamin K present in green leafy vegetables. Adding one to two teaspoons of olive or canola oil when coking dark green leafy vegetables increase the absorption of these nutrients. You also can eat uncooked green leafy vegetables with some low-fat salad dressing.

Each week teens and adults should each 1 ½ to 2 cups of dark green leafy vegetables. Children ages 4 to 8 should eat 1 cup of these vegetables, and children ages 2 to 3 should eat up to a half-cup. Dark green leafy vegetables should be purchased fresh. Most types of dark green leafy vegetables are grown in nearly every part of the United States and are available year-round. Choose vegetables with darker green leaves and look for leaves with no yellowing and that are not wilted.

Dark green leafy vegetables should be stores at temperatures between 34 and 38 degrees. These vegetables should be stored away from tomatoes, apples, or other fruits that give off ethylene gas, which causes greens to wilt and spoil quickly,

Wash all vegetables before cutting them up. The dark green leafy vegetables can be placed in a sink filled with cold water for washing. Once placed in the cold water, stir water and greens with hands then remove the vegetables. Do not let the green leafy vegetables soak. Use fresh water each time and repeat until no grit is detected on the bottom of the sink after the greens have been removed.

After washing, the greens should be dried by placing them in a vegetable colander and blotting them with an absorbent cloth or paper towel. Need a colander? Stop by the office and we will give you one.

To prepare spinach, remove the midrib, fold the spinach leaf in half and pull off the stem and midrib. Once the midrib and stem are removed, only the tender leaf should remain. Then wash and dry the spinach leaves. You can now add the spinach leaves to salads or cook it.

Use the fresh, greens you have purchased at the Farmers Market to make this great salad.

Spring Harvest Salad

5 cups torn spring leaf lettuce

2 ½ cup spinach leaves

1 ½ cups sliced strawberries

1 cup fresh blueberries

½ cup thinly sliced green onions

Dressing Ingredients

4 teaspoons lemon juice

2 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup feta cheese crumbles

½ cup unsalted sliced almonds

Combine leaf lettuce and spinach leaves with sliced strawberries, blueberries and green onion in a large salad bowl. Prepare dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and salt. Pour over lettuce mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle salad with feta cheese and sliced almonds. Serve immediately. Will make 2-1 cup servings.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Jim Howard and Edith Lovett will be at the Farmers Market this Saturday, at 10:00 o'clock, May 22. Jim will be showing you different types of tomato plants you can purchase and what type you need to grow to meet your need. Edith will be sharing with you tomato recipes and what you can do with your tomatoes.

Join our Big Blue Book Club as we read "Just a Few Miles South: Timeless Recipes from Our Favorite Places by Quita Michel. Quita Michel is a renowned Bluegrass chef and has many restaurants in Kentucky. In this series we will read the book together and tempt our taste buds with some of these delectable Kentucky cultural treasures. The series begins July 13 through July 27. We will Zoom each Tuesday evening at 8:00 EDT. Complete the registration form available at https://ukfcs.net/BBbcRegistrationBook3 if you would like to reserve a copy of the book.

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