Guess what food craze doesn’t even crack the top 10 super foods?
Kale. That’s right – the chewy green stuff that chefs and foodies have been swooning over for far too many years.
You may have guessed: I am not a fan. I have had kale many different ways and only found two to be even remotely palatable. My sister’s kale stir fried with garlic and a Whole Foods salad in the Santa Monica branch that had about a dozen ingredients so the chopped kale didn’t overwhelm the dish.
So with glee I noted the CDC’s list of “Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables,” ranked by density of nutrients packed into each bite. Here’s to a healthy New Year!
#10. Collard Greens. One of our garden neighbors plants collard greens in the fall, along with another healthy but often badly-cooked leaf, the mustard green (#12).
#9. Romaine Lettuce. Big winner at our house, almost always the leafy green of choice.
#8. Parsley. Though I typically use parsley as a herb, ie sparingly, I do pack my gazpacho with lots of chopped parsley. Need to find a few more recipes that use it as a main ingredient. Ideas anyone?
#7. Leaf Lettuce. This is our garden mainstay in the spring.
#6. Chicory. Hmm, need to use this more often!
#5. Spinach. Love it, in almost any savory concoction. Still have a couple frozen packets of our garden spinach. Note to self: Find the Malabar varietal again. It was a tremendous producer in 2014.
#4. Beet Greens. CRR scores on this one. His favorite preparation involves steaming the beet greens and flavoring them with a little vinegar. I prefer the beet itself.
#3. Chard. Maybe we will try growing it this year, to elevate our super-food-iness quotient.
#2. Chinese Cabbage. Who knew?
#1. Watercress. It’s on today’s grocery list. Love the peppery taste, so why don’t I buy it more often? It scores a perfect 100 percent nutrient density by the CDC. Call it Mother Nature’s multi-vitamin.
And the evil kale? #13.
Sandy Johnson is a journalist and a gardener, equally passionate about both. She lives in Alexandria, VA. Visit her on her blog, Grassroots & Gardening