Tasting Friday, 3/23, 6:00 – 7:30pm
Organic red kale, bagged spinach from Stonewall Farm, and organic slicing cucumbers are on sale this week at our co-op. All three of these items support heart health because they are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for bone health because it helps keep bones strong by telling calcium where to go! On Friday, we’ll be sampling a superfood green smoothie (made with all three—kale, spinach, and cucumbers!) and a delicious tzatziki sauce served with pita chips.
Kale is packed with beta-carotene and Vitamin C—antioxidants that help keep our cells and tissues protected from free radical damage. Kale has cancer-preventative compounds, glucosinolates, that may help protect the body from certain cancers including bladder, stomach, breast, and ovarian. Additionally, lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in kale that help prevent macular degeneration and improve overall eye health.
Spinach provides many health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, fighting inflammation, and increasing muscle health. The folate in spinach helps dilate blood vessels, keeping them open for blood flow. Potassium is also found in spinach and helps lower blood pressure by balancing sodium. The flavonoids and carotenoids in spinach help reduce inflammation, which can be helpful for those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Cucumbers are 96% water! Good hydration helps your body deliver nutrients to tissues, remove wastes, and support muscle function and metabolism. Cucumbers also have fiber which helps keep you regular. It also feeds the ‘good’ bacteria in your GI (gastrointestinal) tract, helping with digestion and nutrient absorption.
Adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen
½ cucumber, peeled
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
4 cloves garlic, pressed
⅓ cup chopped dill, fresh or frozen
1 ½ T fresh lemon juice
½ teas salt, or to taste
⅛ teas black pepper
1. Peel, finely dice, and strain the water from the cucumber. Getting rid of excess juice is important so that your tzatziki sauce isn’t watery the next day.
2. Combine the strained and chopped cucumber with 2 cups plain Greek yogurt, 1½ Tbsp lemon juice, 4 pressed garlic cloves, ⅓ cup chopped dill, ½ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp black pepper.
3. Mix everything together and refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving to let the flavors meld. It tastes even better when refrigerated overnight!
Superfood Green Smoothie
Adapted from ifoodreal.com
2 cups cold water
2 handfuls spinach
1 kale leaf, medium-size
½ long cucumber, sliced
½ apple, any variety; chopped but not cored/seeded/peeled
2 T chia seeds
juice of ½ lemon
1. In a powerful blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. If using a regular blender, it’s best to add the ingredients in the order listed above and pulse on and off to get the blending process started. Then press “grate” or “liquify.”
Note: It is best you consume smoothie right away but if needed refrigerate leftovers in the blender for up to 12 hours and drink all day.