Fall vegetables means brassicas and chenopods! Brassicas and Chenopods are a large range of greens and roots that grow well in cool weather and have tons of nutritional value, acting as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and detoxification foods.
Brassicas include broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes, arugula, mustard greens, cabbages, cauliflowers and more. Chenopods include spinach, beets and Swiss chard.
Quick Jump to What’s Available This Week.
What’s New from Hattie’s Garden
We will be thinning our mustard greens and offering just a few bunches of young ones for you this week. You may eat them raw, or cook them lightly, especially saute them.
When you think of mustard greens, you probably think of a curly mustard green common in the south. Well, get ready to expand your cuisine! Mustard greens, especially what many call “Asian Greens” come in many different cultivars with different colors, shapes, sizes and taste and texture. We have grown an Osaka Purple Mustard (much like Giant Purple Mustard), a jagged toothed Kyona Mizuna and a large leafed Komatsuna. All strange names, and all the same variety as the common mustard green with which you may be familiar. Mustard greens are closely related to kale and other brassicas or vegetables in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, turnips, radishes, the brussel sprout, kale and even arugula.
Mustard greens have the same cholesterol lowering ability as collards and kale. They bind bile acids in the digestive tract, making it more likely those bile acids will be excreted from the body. Bile acids are made from cholesterol. Mustard greens also help to reduce inflammation and encourage cancer preventive properties. It should be noted it is steamed greens, not raw greens that bind bile acids.
All of these brassicas love the cool weather and are one of the principle greens to be grown at this time of year. They are sweeter from the cold weather and extremely nutritious. They don’t mind a couple of light frosts and many will put up with at least some freezing weather. The other green that does especially well in cool and even cold weather is spinach. Spinach is a chenopod, as is swiss chard and beets. (Always eat your beet greens!)
Interesting and instructive for me is that while brassicas have certain anti-cancer benefits, so do chenopods, but the types of cancer they can help protect against are not the same! Brassicas are most closely associated with helping to protect against bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer, while chenopods can help slow cell division in stomach cancer, reduce skin cancer in lab animals and has been shown to decrease the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. So hedge your bets and eat all kinds of greens and root vegetables! After all, variety is the spice of life.
I always verify claims such as these before offering them to you. There is plenty of information on the Internet and not all of it is true. The studies that verify the claims above are cited at the bottom of the webpages below and further explanations are given.
What’s Available This Week
The following items will be available at Hattie’s Garden on Thursday, November 6, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, November 8, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market (HLFM), now located at the Shields Elementary parking lot.
- Spicy Arugula – earthy, nutty, spicy arugula makes a delicious, peppery addition to salads, sandwiches, wraps, pizza, pesto, beans and much more!
- Young Arugula – delicious young, tender salad ingredient.
- Loose Leaf Lettuce – always a hit, this lettuce is tender and young, but not so young as to be flavorless!
- Mesclun – a nice mixture of young loose leaf lettuce and bit of arugula.
- Daikon Radish – We have had very good response to this delicious, large root crop. Please see this
recent blog post for information on how to prepare daikon.
- Young Mustard Greens – a mix of one or more Asian greens. Young and tender.
- Spinach – nice bag of hand-harvested leaves have been washed a couple of times and only need to be lightly rinsed.
- Red Russian Kale – always a nice kale and very different from typical curly kale. Curly kale has more of a bitter taste while Red Russian kale is mild and sweet.
- Beedy’s Camden Kale – silvery wide leaves with a sweet delightful taste. Also very tender. We like this new-to-us open-pollinated kale from Beedy Parker in Camden, Maine.
- Toscano Kale – also called Dinosaur Kale, Lacinato Kale and Cavolo Palmizio. Toscano kale has a long tradition in Italian cuisine, especially Tuscany, going back centuries. It is a traditional ingredient in minestrone. Dark blue-green leaves have an embossed texture with a taste slightly sweeter, earthy and more delicate than curly kale.
- Hakurei Turnips – these delightful gourmet “salad” turnips are sweeter still when cooked and the greens are some of the best turnip greens you will ever eat. The flavor improves as the weather cools. We may only have a couple more weeks of harvest for these beauties.
- Tomatoes – yes, we continue to pull tomatoes from our high tunnel! There are still just a few cherry tomatoes as well.
- Herbs – we continue to offer herb packs containing cilantro, parsley and dill along with a couple of nice sticks of lemongrass. A great way to get several very healthy herbs in quantities you will actually be able to use. You will get nearly one ounce of each herb – enough for most any culinary adventure. For a description of these herbs and some of their many benefits, please see this recent post.
A Note of Thanks
A note to thank all of you for coming out to Hattie’s Garden Saturday afternoon after our regularly scheduled market was canceled. And looking forward to no further interruptions this season! We are entering our third to last market at Shields and look forward to bringing you plenty of staples for your winter larder and lots of season appropriate greens and root vegetables.
Yours at the market and garden…