Health news

Green vegetables

Canada’s Food Guide recommends that adults eat 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. What’s more, it says you should include at least one dark green vegetable every day. Why? Because dark green vegetables and leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, endives, green cabbage, mesclun, etc.) are very healthy and chock full of nutrients.

Nutritional Benefits
Antioxidants: The more colourful vegetables are, the more antioxidants they contain. That’s why it’s important to include dark green vegetables in your diet.

Fibres: Like most fruits and vegetables, green vegetables are rich in fibre. Fibres help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce blood cholesterol and keep your digestive system healthy.

Vitamins and minerals:
Magnesium: Green vegetables are some of the best sources of magnesium among fruits and vegetables. Magnesium plays a role in the metabolization of energy, tissue formation and bone development.

Iron: Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and mesclun are sources of iron. Iron stimulates the formation of red blood cells (which make up most of your blood). One serving of 250 mL (1 cup) of spinach is equal to 7% of your recommended daily iron requirement.

Folic acid: Most dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, watercress, green lettuce and cabbage are sources or good sources of folic acid. For example, half a cup of Brussels sprouts meets 15% of your daily requirement.

Did You Know?
Spinach does not contain as much iron as some people think! Popeye the Sailor, who urged us to eat spinach to be strong, is no more than a myth. Spinach’s legendary quantities of iron came about when a secretary accidentally multiplied the actual iron content by ten. The mistake went unnoticed for years, misleading the whole world. Spinach is, however, rich in a number of vitamins and minerals and it is important to eat it.

Buy, prepare and enjoy!
Here are a few tips:

Green Vegetables Description & Preparation Tasty Tips
Rapini Description:
  • Pleasant, if slightly bitter, taste
  • Choose firm stems (not limp or yellowed)
  • Boil rapini stems in a little boiling water for 1 minute, then add leaves and flower buds and boil 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Sauté rapini in oil and add garlic and salt for a quick and tasty side dish!
  • Add rapini to pasta with red peppers and feta.

Broccoli Description:
  • Mild taste and tender texture
  • Choose broccoli that is firm and a rich green colour. Avoid heads that have flowered or yellowed.
  • Equally delicious raw or cooked
  • Make a broccoli soup out of broccoli, onion, milk, chicken broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Prepare a broccoli salad with a little mayonnaise, sunflower seeds, red onion and bacon bits.

Swiss Chard Description:
  • The leaves are similar to spinach, but with a less pronounced taste. The stems are crunchy yet tender.
  • Wash carefully and cut away the base.
  • Use raw or cooked.
  • Stuff the leaves with ground veal, black olives, mushrooms and feta cheese. Bake in the oven and cover with tomato sauce.
  • Julienne stems and use in a salad. Swiss chard comes in a number of different colours that brighten up your dishes!

Asparagus Description:
  • Light, deliciously bitter taste
  • When buying asparagus, choose firm, easy-to-snap spears.
  • Always cook asparagus before eating, no matter how you plan to use it.
  • Blanch and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled with roasted almonds and coarse salt.
  • When making a raclette, layer asparagus, red onion, goat cheese and smoked salmon. Add a little olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Add asparagus to your pasta recipes. Prepare ravioli with asparagus, prosciutto, frozen peas and red onion.

Spinach Description:
  • Tender with a very mild taste
  • Choose dark green spinach with tender leaves that are firm and unblemished.
  • Equally delicious raw or cooked
  • Add to tomato soup with beans and onion. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
  • Make a crêpe florentine with béchamel sauce, spinach and Gruyère cheese.

Rocket (Arugula) Description:
  • Tender with a deliciously distinctive flavour.
  • Choose rocket that has fresh, tender and unblemished leaves that are a healthy shade of green.
  • Remove stringy roots and wash carefully.
  • Or for a quick alternative, buy ready-to-use rocket!
  • Use to garnish your pasta and pizza recipes.
  • For a simple and tasty salad, mix rocket, pine nuts, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and generous shavings of Parmesan.
  • Make a sandwich with grilled chicken, pear and Cheddar, then top with rocket.

Bok Choy Description:
  • The stems have a mild, sweet and refreshing taste and a crispy texture, while the leaves are a little less sweet.
  • Look for compact, firm and fresh stems with no brown spots.
  • Add to your stir fries, with sautéed shrimp, red peppers, green beans, bean sprouts and Teriyaki sauce.
  • Prepare a soup with rice vermicelli, bok choy, green onion and soya sauce.

Endive Description :
  • A little crispy and slightly bitter
  • Buy firm endives with compact, creamy white leaves.
  • Do not soak endives in water, as this makes them more bitter. Simply wipe the leaves to wash them.
  • Make an endive salad with pomegranate seeds and green apple slices. Drizzle with raspberry vinegar.
  • For fun party bites, stuff an endive with blue cheese, walnuts, parsley and fresh dill.

Aide-Gourmet Tips

Don’t wash green vegetables too far ahead of time, as they will wither and turn brown. If you’re in a hurry, use ready-to-use vegetables. They’ll save you time, while adding to your daily intake of green vegetables.