Hello March! What better way to welcome this month, and hopefully, Spring, than with a celebration of food and nutrition! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates National Nutrition Month every March in hopes to educate the public on healthy food choices. This year the theme is Savor the Flavor of Eating Right, which recommends that we all take the time to enjoy the food we eat. Sounds like common sense, but how many times do you eat while doing something else, watching television or talking on the phone? Do you ever grab a quick bite in between tasks or on the go? When we are preoccupied while eating, sometimes it is as though that meal never happened. That could lead to more snacks, extra portions, and additional, unnecessary calories. Savor the Flavor of Eating Right encourages us to slow down and make time for our meals. We should enjoy our food and let our mind have time to acknowledge that we are eating. One way to really appreciate your food is to grow it yourself! Talk about slow… you have to plan your garden, plant the seeds, and wait until the bounty can be harvested. That leaves plenty of time to gather recipes for the produce you are anticipating and get your time management under control for your meals.
I will be doing at least a couple of posts on gardening this month as outdoor planting season is nearly here for those that live in Apex. Today, I thought I would write about a gardening experiment I conducted recently in my very own laboratory, a.k.a. my kitchen.
While scrolling through Facebook one afternoon, I came across a post showing how to regrow certain foods instead of throwing them in the garbage or even into a compost bin. It sounded interesting, so I saved the link: http://www.realfarmacy.com/food-that-magically-regrows-itself-from-kitchen-scraps/
A week or so later, as I was cutting some green onions for our dinner, I remembered that post. Instead of discarding the roots of the green onion I put them in a small glass mason jar and placed them on my window ledge. I was amazed at how quickly they regrew themselves! A week later and the first one I cut is just as tall as my control green onion (from the same bunch, never cut). Love it! I also tried this with romaine lettuce. There is definitely growth and it is time to replant in soil. I am not a gardener, although I am trying to change that about myself. This indoor gardening success has given me some encouragement. I plan to attempt to regrow garlic, ginger, and celery – foods that are often on my shopping list. I may even attempt a pineapple!
The green onions I have grown, or rather re-grown, will absolutely help me savor the flavor this National Nutrition Month! Since I experienced such success with regrowing these onions, also known as scallions, I thought I would tell you a little bit about this delicious and nutritious vegetable. This tunicate bulb will add more than beautiful color and mild flavor to your meal. As a leafy green, it contains a healthy amount of vitamins and fiber. In just under ½ cup (100g) this beautiful plant provides plenty of vitamin A, vitamin K, folic acid, and fiber. Just as notable as these big name nutrients, green onions also contain antioxidants, including lutein and carotene, and minerals, such as copper and iron.
Next time you are in the produce section of your favorite grocer, or at the farmers market, pick up a bundle. Look for green tubules, as opposed to yellow. Yellow suggests that they are over-mature and the flavor will be stronger and more onion-like. Also make sure you buy green onions that are clean, uniform, and firm.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment on any of the kitchen gardening experiments you have conducted!
Next week, I will talk more about indoor gardening with some information on growing sprouts!
Stay tuned, stay healthy, and stay Pretty in the Peak
Marianne Lindgren, MS, RD
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