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Know Your Winter Greens!

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March 19, 2015 at 3:12 PM  •  Posted in More than cooking, Nutrition, Products by  •  0 Comments

This winter, we’re urging you to try going green (literally!) with our delicious and super nutritious Winter Leaves Basket.

Full of nourishing greens and leaves, it’s oh-so-healthy and good for you. Here’s a little primer on all the ingredients.

Mustard Greens

Grown in the Himalayas for over than 5,000 years, mustard greens or sarson are used in many cuisines from Indian, Nepalese, Chinese, African and South American. Packed with nutrients, mustard greens are delicious as well.

Chief Nutrients: Antioxidants, phytonutrients, manganese and Vitamins A, C, E, and K.

Health Benefits: Classified as a cruciferous vegetable, mustard greens are said to have many health benefits, chiefly in the area of cancer prevention. This is due to special nutrients that support bodily systems associated with cancer – the antioxidant system, detox system and the anti-inflammatory system. Nutrients from mustard greens help the body correct imbalances in any of these three systems and therefore decrease the risk of breast, lung, ovarian, bladder, colon and prostate cancer. Due to its anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering benefits, mustard greens are also considered a great cardiovascular veggie.

Storing and usage: Simply wrap them in a plastic bag or newspaper tightly, removing as much as air from the bag, and refrigerate for up to 4 days. If using after 4 days, discard any leaves that are yellowing or have brown spots.

Classic Dish: ‘Sarson da saag’ with ‘makki di roti’

 

Fenugreek Leaves

With its origins in Asia and the Mediterranean, fenugreek or methi is used as an aromatic herb, leaf and spice. Bursting with nutrients, fenugreek’s slightly bitter taste is much sought after to balance delicacies and other vegetables.

Chief Nutrients: Thiamine, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, magnesium and Vitamins A, B6, and C, E and K

Health Benefits: Fenugreek offers many benefits to a wide range of people. It prevents or helps diabetes by way of an unusual amino acid called 4HO-Ile, found only in fenugreek, which enhances insulin secretion and sensitivity under hyperglycemic conditions. Fenugreek has a beneficial effect on oestrogen and testosterone; leading to possible uses in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and male impotence treatment. This herb is also used as a galactagogue to increase inadequate breast milk supply in nursing mothers.

Storing and usage: Always clean off the mud first. Wrapped in damp newspaper or in a perforated bag and refrigerate for up to three days. Wash before using.

Classic Dish: ‘Aloo Methi’

 

Amaranth Leaves

The word ‘Amaranth’ has Greek origins and means ‘unwilting’. Symbolizing immortality, this herb, known as Chaulai Saag, is a green powerhouse.  Used in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and India, this leaf is quite delicious when paired with dal and curries.

Chief Nutrients: When cooked – Folate, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, dietary minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and Vitamins A, C and K.

Health Benefits: This alkaline herb is a natural astringent. Besides being used in great home remedies for hair loss, skin issues and acne, an amaranth leaf solution is also good for mouth sores and sore throats. An excellent source for the daily recommended dose of protein, amaranth improves digestion with its high dietary fibre content and thus also aids weight loss. It helps reduce cholesterol and is great for anaemic people. Amaranth leaf juice is also an Ayurvedic solution for diarrhoea and haemorrhage conditions.

Storing and usage: Wrap in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to a week. Always wash thoroughly before using.

Classic Dish: Andhra Thotakura Pappu (Amaranth Dal)

 

Spinach

With its origins in ancient Persia, Spinach was considered such a delicacy that it was gifted by the King of Nepal to China in the 7th century. Then brought to Spain in the 11th century, spinach quickly became the favourite vegetable of royalty. Popularly called palak in regions of north India, spinach is also one of the most nutrient-rich foods, prescribed to everyone.

Chief Nutrients: Phytonutrients, magnesium, manganese, folate, zinc, iron, selenium and Vitamins A, C, E and K.

Health Benefits: Anti-inflammatory. Anti-stress. Anti-carcinogenic. Cardiovascular benefits. Good for bones. This green super veggie is good for pretty much everything. A 1980s study showed that intake of spinach was inversely related to the incidence of breast cancer. And recent studies prove that spinach offers significant protection against prostate cancer. Spinach reduces high blood pressure and the depletion of calcium from our bones. The carotenoids in spinach also help our nervous system work better and reduce the chances of macular eye degeneration.

Storing and usage: Wrap in a plastic bag or newspaper and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Always wash thoroughly before using.

Classic Dish: ‘Palak Paneer’

 

I Say Organic Quickie Cooking for Winter Leaves

1) Sauté – it’s said to bring out all of the health benefits of these leaves. We recommend cooking for at least 5 minutes before consuming.

2) With lemon juice: A dash of lemon juice or vinaigrette with lemon juice activates citric-sensitive essential enzymes in the greens, making them even more beneficial.

3) Raw or slightly cooked in pasta salads, with walnuts or in a great sandwich.

4) In juices

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