Upper South

March, 2013
Regional Report

Web Finds

The World's Healthiest Foods
Healthy eating leads to a healthy, happy life. As you choose which vegetables and fruit to grow or buy this year and prepare for yourself and your family, you'll certainly want to choose foods that you enjoy. But, it's also important to try less familiar ones that offer excellent nutritional value. The World's Healthiest Foods is a great site to learn about 35 vegetables and 21 fruits. For each entry, there is a nutritional information and health benefits, plus a description, history, how to select and store, tips for preparing and cooking, and additional ways to enjoy. Besides the vegetables and fruits, there is similar information for nuts, seeds, and oils, grain, eggs, dairy, beans and legumes, spices and herbs, seafood, poultry and lean meats, and natural sweeteners.

Favorite or New Plant

The spotlight is most often on kale as a cooking green, but collards deserves to share the glory. Like other cruciferous vegetables, collards contains large amounts of health-promoting sulfur compounds. Plus, collards are an exceptional source of vitamins A, C, and K, manganese, folate, calcium, and fiber. Popular among ancient Greeks and Romans, collards might be thought of as non-heading cabbage, what with its large, flat leaves. Plant seeds in late summer or early fall, for harvesting during the winter months. For the simplest, healthiest preparation, stack the leaves and slice crosswise into half-inch strips, then steam for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Or, you can follow the trend for preparing kale by using collards to make chips or in salads.

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