We all know greens are important for good health, right? And if we can grow them in our own organic gardens, I am awarding Brownie Points for that. (For those of you who are much younger, that translates to “extra credit.”) But once you’re at the garden center and are surrounded by all the different choices, how do you know which greens to buy?
Top 5 Healthy Greens to Grow:
Now, go and make salads, blend smoothies, and juice to your heart’s content!
1. Kale — This will come as a surprise to almost no one because kale has been touted as the superfood of the vegetable world for years now. High in Vitamins A, C, and K with a good dose of calcium, folate, and potassium, kale also offers antioxidants that aid in lowering cancer risk.
Nutritional Info: (One cup) 70 calories, 0g fat, 4g protein, 10g carbs, 5 g fiber
Days to Maturity: 70 to 80 days if grown from seed and 50 to 55 if transplanted.
2. Collard Greens — Collard greens are a bit of an underappreciated veggie, but have similar nutritional properties as kale. High in Vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants, collard greens have a bit of a cabbage-like taste. Those in the raw food movement like to use the wide leaves as a wrap in place of tortillas or bread.
Nutritional Info: (One Cup) 25 calories, 0g fat, 2g protein, 5g carbs, 3g fiber
Days to Maturity: 65 to 75
3. Turnip Greens — Turnip greens have a 2-for-1 benefit with both the turnip and the green tops. High in Vitamin A, calcium, fiber, magnesium, and iron, these greens have a sharper taste than others but is more tender and needs less cooking time.
Nutritional Info: (One Cup) 20 calories, .1g fat 1.2g of protein, 4.4g of carbs and 3.5g fiber
Days to Maturity: 30 to 35
4. Swiss Chard — Offering Vitamins A, C, K-1, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants, Swiss chard has a beet-like taste and is great for sautéing. And it’s a gorgeous plant as well, showing off bright red, orange, yellow, and white stems along with the dark green leaves.
Nutritional Info: (One Cup) 7 calories, 0.7 protein, 0.07 fat, 0.6 fiber and 1.4 g carbs
Days to Maturity: 40 to 50
5. Spinach — Spinach is another super green, high in Vitamins A and C, folate, and calcium. Spinach is also a tad bit more nutritious when cooked rather than eaten raw (although we wouldn’t discourage that, either) because heat releases its oxalate content so your body can better absorb calcium.
Nutritional Info: (One Cup) 7 calories, 0.12g Fat, 0.86g protein, 1.09g carbs, 4.3 fiber
Days to Maturity: 35 to 45