By Kristen Troy
This peppery salad green is a great source of flavor and nutrients. Arugula contains substantial amounts of calcium, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. It is also low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates, and fat to work in many diets. Arugula is often eaten raw in salads, on sandwiches, or in pesto. It can also be cooked but the flavors are not as bold. Fun fact: you can chew raw arugula to fight bad breath.
A green leafy vegetable that can be eaten raw in salads or sautéed. These leaves provide an excellent source of Vitamins K, A, and C. Chard is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber. When you are picking out Chard in the grocery store or farmer’s market look for dark leaves and bright stems. Avoid chard that is dried out, split, or discolored.
These are green legumes that grow in pods. These beans are removed from the pods and typically from their shells. The beans need to be removed from their shells if they are mature beans. To remove a bean from their shell it is helpful to blanch the beans first. If the beans will be roasted, they do not need to be removed from their shells because the shells will be easier to eat after roasting. The beans can be eaten fresh, sautéed, dried, stewed, and roasted.
These curly green stalks look similar to green onions but these grow out of bulb of the garlic plant. When they are cut off the garlic bulb it allows the bulb to grow larger. The scapes taste mild and sweet, similar to scallions but with a garlicky flavor. Use garlic scapes as a garnish, to make pesto, or in many other recipes.
Green onions are a great addition to many entrees and recipes. To pick a good bunch of green onions look for green stalks with white ends, stay away from wilted, soggy, or rotten stalks. To prepare green onions, rinse them thoroughly then trim the roots and the tops. A knife or kitchen shears can be used to chop them up.
There are many types of lettuce that will be in season now and going into the summer. Some of the popular types of lettuce are green leaf, red leaf, romaine, iceberg, and many more. Lettuce should have crisp and closely bunched leaves. Prepare lettuce leaves by rinsing them and then drying them with a clean cloth or paper towels. Tear or chop leaves to desired size and store in a sealed container for up to a week.
Radishes can be eaten raw or cooked, whole, sliced, minced, or grated. Pick a good radish by looking for smooth, bright bulbs with green tops. Steer clear of soft dull bulbs. When you are preparing radishes, slice the radish greens off before storing the radishes in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Rhubarb is a unique vegetable that has been mistaken as a fruit because of its tart taste. The uses for rhubarb are vast but most popular is rhubarb pie. When picking out rhubarb, pick stalks that are flat and firm. Store rhubarb in a plastic bag, unwashed which will keep for up to 3 days.
This delicious fruit is a popular snack during the summer months. You can find strawberries at the grocery store, farmer’s market, or even picking them yourself! Strawberries should be brightly colored and plump. Washed strawberries will keep for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator. Enjoy strawberries as a snack, in a baked good, as jam, or in a smoothie.
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