We say goodbye to 2012 and our Cooking Tool of the Month feature on the blog. Welcome 2013! This year’s theme has been chosen: Cooking By Color. Each month we will feature foods and flavors from one color family. Of course I’m behind already because I was getting ready for the launch of Wellness Reboot (my new online wellness program).
January is GREEN!
When I gaze over my backyard garden the one thing that is thriving is the greens. Green vegetables love the winter months, so it was only appropriate to pick green as the January Cooking By Color choice.
My favorite vegetable growing up was broccoli. But other than fresh zucchini and green beans from a can I didn’t eat many other green vegetables (my dad’s favorite being turnip greens from a can, ew!). It wasn’t until I went vegan and then to culinary school that I learned all about the wonderful world of kale. I fell in love with eating vegetables, but also fell in love with just how beneficial they are to our health. It became my mission to have something green at every meal.
There are many groupings of green vegetables; some are sweet like spinach, some are bitter like kale and arugula, some are best raw in salads like Romaine, curly endive and iceberg lettuce, and some are typical greens like Swiss chard, mustard greens and collard greens. All are packed with vitamins and minerals and are helpful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. Greens can be prepared any number of ways from sauteing, steaming, blanching, raw, massaged, baked, and dehydrated.
Many green veggies come from the Cruciferous family, like kale, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and bok choy. These are known superfoods because of their health benefits. You want to be eating them everyday! Typically, greens are rich in vitamins A, C, K and folate and even powerhouses of potassium and iron. They are naturally very low in calories and fat depending on how they are prepared. If you are living a dairy-free lifestyle, green vegetables are a great alternative to getting calcium into your diet. The folate can improve heart health and fight cancer and the high amounts of dietary fiber can help you lose weight and keep your digestive system healthy.
Let’s not forget about green fruit! Green apples, kiwi, honeydew and limes make the world go round. Fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, chives, basil and tarragon breathe life into your recipes. The world of green foods is plentiful so we’ll feature them this month and in July 🙂
Tell us: What are YOUR favorite green fruits and veggies and how do you like to prepare them? Which ones would you like to see featured here?