Spring in North Carolina is best known for growing greens. In an article I was reading recently about super foods, leafy green vegetables are given rave reviews about the wealth of nutrition they offer. How lucky we are to have so many available to us on the farm.
Super foods are rated on the ANDI scale. The ANDI rating scale is the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index and it ranks food based on a nutrient density ratio 1 to 1,000. While no one food can supply us with all the nutrients we need, regularly adding these foods to our diet will help keep us healthy. Some foods on the super food list are:
Berries: strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries are a few listed. Fresh or frozen, berries are delight added to any meal.
Pomegranate: adds a tart and sweet fruity tasted when added to smoothies, pies, or salads. A glass of pomegranate in the morning will give you a huge boost of vitamin C and potassium to start the day.
Quinoa: a native to South America, quinoa is cooked like rice or pasta and is a gluten-free alternative to pasta in salads. When mixed with vegetables, you will get 11 grams of protein per ½ cup of the grain.
Leafy Greens: it’s no surprise that our greens are on the list. With the fresh from the farm taste that comes when you bite into a leaf, they can’t help but be good for you. While there are many greens available, I will discuss kale (a personal favorite). Kale is one of the highest rate ANDI items with a score of 1,000. Amazing since the scale only goes to 1,000! In just one leaf, you are getting vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiver. You can’t beat that.
Here is a fabulous recipe I can’t wait to try, featuring some super foods (many of the ingredients are being grown on the farm or from local farmers):
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cups white onions, dice (about 1 medium onion)
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
2 tablespoons wakame flakes, ground into fine pieces
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
Seas salt, to taste
1 head kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped
½ lemon, juiced
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
1. In a large pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add celery and bell pepper and cook a few minutes more. Stir in herbs and spices, cooking for about 30 seconds.
3. Add broth, water, wakame, black-eyed peas and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, adding more water if needed. Tasted and adjust salt if desired.
4. After soup is fully cooked through, stir in kale and keep over heat for a minute longer – just enough to wilt kale. Add lemon juice and turn off heat. Top with parsley and serve. Serves 6-8.
Hope you enjoy your box of super foods!