January is the time of the year where we often find ourselves wanting cleaner more nutritious foods. It makes sense, the holidays have just wrapped up and often our New Year’s resolutions include shedding a few pounds and eating a more balanced diet. Luckily for us, January is the time of year when winter greens are out in full vivacious force in our markets and gardens. Here in the South, we’re best known for our Collard greens, slickly braised along with delicious bites of ham hocks. But there are lots of other greens we use in our kitchens. Our favorite winter greens and the ones Paula grows in her garden include: Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, Turnip Greens, and Swiss Chard.
These nutrient rich dark leafy greens are fantastic in stews, soups, sautéed quickly in a bit of olive oil, or left to braise on the stovetop. They will add fiber, cancer fighting antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, folic acid, and calcium to your diet. These super foods are often inexpensive and always delicious sources of vital nutrients. Paired with the right ingredients, and cooked in the right way, you may not even realize you’re eating such healthy food.
Kale has an earthy, slightly bitter, broccoli like flavor and is rich in vitamins A, C and K. Kale is delicious sautéed with olive oil, steamed, added to soups, or even eaten raw in salads. Green kale shakes are even popular this year!
Colcannon Irish Potato Salad
Collard Greens have a more milder flavor than kale and are rich in vitamins A, C and K, fiber, and calcium. They’re fantastic sautéed briefly, steamed, or braised.
Stewed Collard Greens
Spinach has a sweet earthy flavor and is high in vitamins A and K, folate, and iron. Spinach tastes great eaten raw in salads or steamed.
Spinach Salad with a Hot Blackberry Walnut Dressing
Turnip Greens have an earthy peppery flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and calcium. They are delicious when eaten in salads, stews or sautéed.
Turnip Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings
Swiss Chard is another sweet earthy green. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, and iron. It is delicious in soups, sautéed, or steamed.
Sausage, White Bean, and Swiss Chard Soup