This week has been absolutely beautiful in Portland- sunny, warmish, with trees and flowers beginning to bloom. I love this time of year when we get a break from the relentless rain and we begin to get a peek of the summer to come. Along with the gorgeous flowers, I love exploring all the different fresh greens that begin to become available at the farmer’s market and grocery stores. Some of my favorites are:
- Arugula: Arugula is a cruciferous veggie that will add a peppery bite to a salad or the top of a pizza. Arugula is good for bone health due to its high calcium and Vitamin K content. Its high antioxidant content is also good for fighting atherosclerosis.
- Watercress: Watercress is filled with beta carotene (good for the eyes and healthy skin) and Vitamin K which is good for the skin and healthy bones. Watercress is best enjoyed raw because heat destroys some of its health benefits.
- Spinach: A 180 gram serving of boiled spinach contains more iron (great for muscle building) than a 6 oz hamburger. Spinach leaves also contain a compound called thylakoids which recent research suggests serves as a powerful appetite suppressant.
- Dandelion greens: That pesky weed you find in your yard can have a profound impact on your health. Dandelion greens support liver health, serves as a natural diuretic, and are loaded with calcium, iron and vitamin K. Dandelion greens are naturally bitter so they are best mixed into a salad with more mild greens.
These are just a few of the greens that will begin to make an appearance in the spring. Which ones will you explore this year?
Photo from flickr.