Growing up in the hills of southern West
Virginia, one of the many foods that I remember
on the dinner table is some variety of greens.
Mustard, kale or collards would more than likely
be the greens of choice. But there were also
varieties of wild greens such as dandelion, poke
and shawney greens. Poke and shawney greens
are not the scientific names, but when travel-
ing the hills of Appalachia, especially among
the mountain people, poke and shawney are
well known. One could easily spend the biggest
part of the day hiking through the hills looking
for these lovely greens to prepare for the dinner
table. No matter if grown in the family garden,
growing wild in the hills or purchased at the
local grocery, greens had their place at the
dinner table.
Mainly cooked until tender, drained, cut, seasoned and sautéed in some
form of oil, this was the simplest and most common form of preparation.
With little knowledge of the health benefits of eating the variety of greens
that my mother would prepare for the dinner table, I just knew that I liked
greens almost as much as I liked hiking in the hills with my mother while
she picked them. Over the years, the knowledge of the health benefits of
greens such as collard, kale and mustard into my diet has only intensified
the desire to include them as my chosen superfood.
Each of the leafy greens is rich in its own nutrients and vitamins and can
add many of the much needed missing nutrients and vitamins from our
daily diet. They are low in calories and fat and can be used as a dish in
itself or added to a wide variety of recipes.
Spring 2013
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