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Do You Eat Greens?

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various knowledge and educational sites in internet.

Introduction

There are a large number of food items available in the nature and people choose from it as per their liking. Some like poultry, some go for dairy products, some like the cereals while some go for vegetables. These habits are formed since childhood and have an imprint of the society and a family in which a particular person dwells.

Greens are a part of the vegetables and if eaten raw or cooked do not have an encouraging and appetising taste till you spice up them at least a little bit. Probably that is the reason why they are not the primary food in many households. Let us go through the details about some of these greens and see how useful they are for our health and whether we can include them in our diet.

Spinach

I think this is one of the most popular greens across the world and consumed in variety of ways. Spinach contains many nutrients which are particularly good for skin, hair, and bone health. It provide protein, iron, magnesium, potasium, folate, vitamin A, and minerals to us. It has a possible potential in improving blood glucose control. It is very low in calories.

Historically, spinach was used by various communities in Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, and South-East-Asian countries in preparing many of their dishes and cuisine.

A quick Indian spinach-cottage cheese vegetable recipe

Spinach-cottage cheese recipe (commonly known as palak-paneer in India) is a very tasty and delicious dish. It is a side dish and can be taken during main meals.

The quantity mentioned below will suffice for 3-4 persons.

(A) Ingredients:

  • Spinach - 2 medium bunches or 600-800 gram.
  • Cottage cheese - 200 gram.
  • Onion - 1 No.
  • Garlic - 5 to 6 cloves.
  • Cardamom - 2 Nos.
  • Butter - 1 tbsp.
  • Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp.
  • Bay leaf - 2 Nos.
  • Star anise - 1 No.

(B) Preparation:

Wash spinach leaves thoroughly. Drain and keep aside. Chop onions and garlic finely. Cut cottage cheese in small cube pieces.

(C) Method:

Boil the spinach leaves in a pressure cooker by keeping 8-10 minutes under medium heat and grind them to make a paste. Keep a pan on medium heat and put butter in it. As soon the buuter is heated up, add cardamom seeds, chopped onion and garlic, black pepper, star anise, bay leaf etc and saute for a few minutes till the flavour of the spices starts in the air.

Now add spinach paste and cottage cheese pieces to it and then heat for 2-3 minutes. Keep it aside and wait for 15 minutes till the cottage cheese pieces absorb the spinach and spice flavour. Do not overheat as the vegetable would start sticking to the bottom of the pan.

The dish is ready. In place of cottage cheese one can put boiled potatoes or hard boiled eggs. Serve hot with bread/ bun or rice.

Palak-Paneer dish

Palak-Paneer dish

Amaranth

Amaranth leaves are rich in antioxidents, phytonutrients, and minerals. They provide soluble as well as insoluble dietary fibre. Amaranth boosts the metabolism. It is therefore recommended for persons having high LDL. It is low in calories and high in fibre. It fights against spanemia and boosts immunity. Further it contains good amount of potassium, calcium, protein, various vitamins, and lysine (an amino acid). Some scientists consider it as a superfood.

Sea purslane

It is available in coastel areas and marshy lands. Historically it is a British sea vegetable often found in south coast of England. It is salty in taste and may not require extra salt while cooking its leave with the other vegetables. Sea purslane is having pink, star shaped flowers. Its leaves are a bit fluffy and are edible. It contains many vitamins and minerals. This is generally available in summertime and is a seasonal vegetable. In Carribean area the paste prepared from sea purslane leaves is still used for treating the wound caused by some venomous fishes in the seas.

Mustard leaves

Mustard is known for many of its good effects on health. Ayurveda or Nauropath experts suggest it to be included in our diet. Mustard is rich in iron and also strengths bones. It is also an antioxydent as well as reduces inflammation. In Northern India it is very popular and a vegetable is commonly prepared known as 'Sarson ka Saag'. In some hill regions of India people consume it just by boiling or mixing in a pork stew.

A quick vegetable recipe of mustard leaves - Sarson ka Saag

Mustard leave vegetable (Sarson ka Saag) is a popular dish especially in Northern part of India. This is a delicious dish and goes well with Indian bread (Chapati). People relish it with a dollop of white butter. Mixing spinach in this recipe brings a better taste and is a common practice. A simple recipe of this vegetable is described here for the beginners.

(A) Ingredients:

Ingredients mentioned below would suffice for 3-4 people.

  • 1 bunch (250-300 gram) mustard greens.
  • 1 bunch (200-250 gram) spinach.
  • 1 - 2 green chilies (optional).
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter).
  • 1 - 2 onion.
  • 1/2 to 1 inch ginger piece.
  • 8 - 10 garlic cloves.
  • 1 teaspoon coriander.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon Indian garam masala.
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice.
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour.
  • White butter 3-4 dollops.
  • Salt to taste.

(B) Preparation:

Wash the greens thoroughly. Drain and chop finely. Chop or grate onion, ginger and garlic also.

(C) Method:

In a pot mix spinach, mustard greens, green chilies (optional), and salt to taste. Add 1 cup water and boil until cooked.

Mash and mix well to make a coarse paste.

In a pan, heat the ghee (alternatively can use other cooking medium also) on a medium flame. When oil is hot, add the grated onion and fry until a light golden color. Add grated garlic, ginger, spices, gram flour and lime juice. Fry until the oil starts oozing from the onion-spice-gram flour mixture. Add the course green paste to this and stir until well blended. Remove from heat.

Serve in a bowl and garnish with a dollop of butter in the centre. It goes well with various breads especially chapati prepared with course corn flour. A glass of buttermilk goes well along. Each serving of this vegetable gives about 200-250 calories. To make it more sumptuous people add cooked cottage cheese pieces or cooked chicken or lamb also but they would increase the calories significantly.




Drumstick leaves

Drumstick leaves are a rich source of calcium, protein, beta carotene, iron, maganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A etc. It also contains quercetin and chlorogenic acid which are good compouds for blood pressure stabilization. Drumstick leaves are antioxydent.

Dried and crushed powder of drumstick leaves is used in sauces and soups. It is used in tea also.

Turmeric leaves

Turmeric is one of the main ingredient in Ayurvedic preparations. Some people take turmeric powder with milk and claim astonishing results. The paste prepared with turmeric powder is applied to minor burns and cuts and gives rekief.

Anyway, the turmeric leaves contain a compound called curcumin. This is a very important compound and is believed to trigger bile secretion in the human body. It is a powerful antioxydent.

In India, in some parts, it is used in curries, soups, chutneys, or pickles. They are also used as a wrap for some edible preparations.

Radish leaves

Radish leaves are high in fibre and also high in many vitamins and minerals. They are having health benefits from treating diabetes to rheumatism. They contain high iron and phosphorus and increase immunity and reduce fatigue. The good amount of fibre in them helps in digestive process.

Simple dry vegetable dishes using radish leaves, radish, capsicum and potato are prepared in some parts of India and relished with chapati and curd. Some radish are a bit bitter and may give a slightly bitter taste on cooking.

Fenugreek leaves

Fenugreek leaves are known as Methi leaves in India while in other countries they are known by the names Bird’s foot and Goat’s horn. Fenugreek leaves are very useful in diabetes, constipation and even in kidney ailments. Dry fenugreek leaves are used for enhancing flavours of some cuisines especially the Indian cuisine. The raw leaves are cooked with potatoes or cottage cheese to produce tasty dishes. Fenugreek leaves cooked alone are a bit bitter and that is why they are generally cooked with potato, cottage cheese or boiled eggs. Then only they give out their aromatic flavour.


Spring Onion

Spring onions have vtamin A, B6 and a good amount of vitamin C and calcium. They are a good source of minerals like potassium, copper, chromium, manganese and iron.

Spring onion leaves are having a specific soft sweet taste. They can be cooked solo and eaten or cooked along with onions and potatoes. Spring onions are low in calorie and 100 gram of them would give a calorie hardly 100-120 calorie.

More ways to consume greens

Though primarily, greens are used in vegetables or pastes for making a curry but there are many other ways that it can be consumed. Greens are great for making nutritious soups either singly or in combination with garlic, onion, tomatoes etc. Some amount of greens in any soup can bring not only a nice aroma but make it thick also. In some remote villages there is a practice of drying up the greens in sun light and once it is well dried it can be used after a gap of significant time. Dry fenugreek leaves are a great example of these practices. In fact fenugreek leaves are commercialky dried and sold in the international markets. I have seen some old ladies in one Indian village drying the chopped pieces of the stem of colacacia leaves and then using them after about 6 months in off season. Only thing is that in all this type of preservation the original taste of the vegetable is partially lost but as well said that something is better than nothing these innovative ways help the people to eat this things off season.

Another thing is that sometimes we have some greens but we want to use them later but there is a danger of their getting spoiled or getting perished even if we keep them in a fridge. What we can do is that we can boil them and paste them and then keep in fridge so that we can use them comfortably within a fortnight. So preserving greens is a tricky matter sometimes. Some greens can be preserved with traditional blanching also. Vegetables like green peas can be stored for a quite long time after blanching.

Conclusion

Greens are in general low in calories and high in fibre. Including them in our diet in one or other form ranging from salad to cooked dishes is strongly recommended.

References

1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270609.php&hl=en-IN

2. https://pharmeasy.in/blog/16-health-benefits-and-nutritional-value-of-amaranth-leaves/

3. https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/drumstick-leaves/&hl=en-IN

3. https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Turmeric_Leaves_11168.php

4. https://www.lybrate.com/topic/radish-leaves-benefits&hl=en-IN

5. https://stylesatlife.com/articles/fenugreek-leaves-benefits/&hl=en-IN

6. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ingredientsprofiles/Spring-onions&hl=en-IN


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Umesh Chandra Bhatt

Comments

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on November 09, 2020:

Rajan, thanks for your nice comment.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 08, 2020:

Green are very good for health. Thanks for sharing the recipes of palak paneer and sarson ka saag, 2 delicious ways to consume them.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on November 04, 2020:

Dale, thanks for your interest.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on November 03, 2020:

Thanks for sharing your recipes here. The wife and I are always talking about finding new ways to use spinach so this got my attention right away.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 31, 2020:

Bill, that is good that you are maintaining a good health. There are so many factors for a good health and greens are only one of them. Health is a strange entity.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 31, 2020:

I have great genes and I will tell you why I say that: I don't eat greens at all, and I'm never sick.

There is no good explanation for it. I just have freakishly good DNA. :)

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on June 28, 2020:

Sankhajit, thanks a lot for your visit. Appreciate.

Sankhajit Bhattacharjee from MILWAUKEE on June 27, 2020:

yes I do eat greens......valuable post

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 09, 2020:

Shaloo, thanks for your nice comment. Appreciate much.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on March 09, 2020:

Dipali, thanks for your nice comment.

Shaloo Walia from India on March 09, 2020:

Sarson ka saag is a favorite of we punjabis. It's so, so delicious!!

Dipali Ingle from Nandura on February 16, 2020:

A very useful article

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 13, 2020:

Denise, mustard greens are very popular in some parts of our country and happy to note that you get them there in abundance. In India many people saute greens in mustard oil and it gives a unique taste. One can try that though mustard oil might be a bit pungent and everyone might not like that taste.

Thanks for your visit and detailed comments.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on February 13, 2020:

It is a shame many of these we cannot get here such as sea purslane and fenugreek. I'm not really fond of spinach but I do eat a lot of mustard greens and many other local greens like kale.

Blessings,

Denise

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 13, 2020:

Peggy, appreciate your visit. Thanks for your nice comment.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 13, 2020:

We do eat a lot of spinach in our home and use spring onions quite frequently. As you mentioned, greens are loaded with useful nutrients.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 11, 2020:

Tery, thanks for visiting and your encouraging comment. Appreciate.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 11, 2020:

Nikki, thanks for your comment. Ya, spinach goes with so many things like potato, cheese, peas, chiken, eggs, meat etc and is really a palatable dish.

Tery Peta from Bulgaria on February 11, 2020:

Sometimes we overlook greens, forgetting that they are an important part of the human diet as well. This is a very informative article, thanks for sharing.

Nikki Khan from London on February 11, 2020:

Good recipe on greens. I love to eat the spinach dishes. Meat cooked with the spinach is one of my favourite dish.

Thanks for sharing this valuable hub with us, Umesh.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 08, 2020:

Manatita44, thanks for your encouraging words. Appreciate for your visit.

manatita44 from london on February 08, 2020:

Nice information on greens. I must eat more spinach. I buy quite a few things and sometimes forget. Great stuff!!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 07, 2020:

Devika, thanks for visiting, your comment, and compliment. Yes, greens are valuable in many respect and only thing is we have to include them in one way or other in our diet.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 07, 2020:

It is a way of life for to eat greens. I prefer the healthier lifestyle in my opinion a healthy meal keeps me fit and keeps the bad away. You encourage me to better way of life thank you

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 06, 2020:

Linda, thanks for your comment and compliment. Those who are averse to greens could have them in form of tasty and delicious dishes. Indian spices go well with them. I am not much aware about the canadian spices used with greens but can be tried.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 06, 2020:

Your recipes sound very tasty. This article is a good reminder to eat greens! They are a great source of nutrients.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 06, 2020:

Bushra, thanks for visiting. Many people do not like greens but if prepated in combination of potatoes, boiled eggs, chicken etc they go well. Hope you go along with them.

Anya Ali from Rabwah, Pakistan on February 06, 2020:

I don't like any greens except hibiscus leaves. This article is a useful reminder to me to bring some variety to my diet. Thank you!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 05, 2020:

Brenda, thanks for your detailed comments. Greens are not very common and popular like many other food items. So there are a large number of people not taking greens in their diet in a big way. One way to consume them is through newer and newer dishes.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on February 05, 2020:

I must confess that i dont do much greens.

Unless it is the occasional salad which I love. Then i will have peppers and broccoli in that too.

I do eat green peppers alot with other dishes...like steak.

Nice write.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 05, 2020:

Clive, appreciate your visit and happy to note that you have already included many greens in your diet. Great, have a good time and keep in touch.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 05, 2020:

Ruby Jean, it is true that spinach is the most popular of all. Thanks for your comment.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 05, 2020:

Liz, It is good to note that spinach is back in the main stream in UK now. Thanks for your visit. Appreciate.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on February 05, 2020:

I eat okra, string beans, calaloo, green sweet pepper. etc

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 05, 2020:

I love spinach in a salad, I also like green onions. The others I have not tasted. This took some time to put this together. Great job.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 05, 2020:

I remember as a child that spinach was not so popular in the UK. Now it has come back into fashion.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 05, 2020:

Happy to know that you are consuming the greens on a regular basis. Thanks for your comment. Keep in touch.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 05, 2020:

I love my greens. Never liked beets much but love the greens. Kale is not a favorite but you encourage me to use your ideas for that. Thanks.