Fill up with these new veggies
Joanne Carr, RHN
It's easy eating green. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, broccolini, and rapini convey impressive health-promoting benefits.
We’ve all heard about the health benefits of spinach, lettuce, and broccoli, but are you a newcomer to the tastes of broccolini, escarole, curly endive, rapini, and Swiss chard? All are considered vegetable powerhouses because of their impressive health-promoting nutrients.
Look for these greens at your local supermarket or at the farmers’ market this summer. Bring them home and store them, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Then, in late summer, consider planting some hardier varieties of winter vegetables such as Savoy cabbage and Swiss chard in your garden. That way you can have these nutritious vegetables on hand all year round.
|Choose a leafy green||Why it’s good for you||What to look for|
|Broccolini||This cross between broccoli and Chinese kale boasts high levels of vitamins A and C, calcium, fibre, folate, and iron.||Broccolini should have a bright green colour and firm, tender stalks. Avoid yellowing leaves or flower buds, limp stalks, or wilting heads.|
|Curly endive||Both fat- and cholesterol-free, curly endive is a good source of vitamins A and C, fibre, and folate.||Look for green-rimmed, crisp, and firmly packed heads. The outer leaves should be deep green and the centre leaves should be yellow. Avoid wilted bunches.|
|Savoy cabbage||One of the best cabbages for cooking, Savoy cabbage is rich in fibre and vitamins A, B, C, and E.||Savoy has a loose, full head of crinkled leaves that vary from dark to pale green. A head of Savoy cabbage should feel heavy for its size and have crisp, fresh-looking leaves with no brown streaks or spots.|
|Escarole||This green, leafy vegetable boasts high concentrations of vitamins A, C, and K, along with fibre and folic acid.||Choose crisp, green heads without discoloration on the outer leaves.|
|Swiss chard||High in vitamins A, C, E, and K, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, and fibre, Swiss chard is also a good source of copper, calcium, vitamins B1, B2, and B6, protein, phosphorus, zinc, folate, biotin, niacin, and pantothenic acid.||Look for leaves that are vivid green in colour. The stalks should look crisp and be unblemished.|
|Rapini (also known as broccoli rabe)||The many spiked leaves that surround the green bud make rapini look similar to a small head of broccoli. An excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.||Good-quality rapini will have bright green, crisp leaves with relatively few opened buds.|