Spring is the time our bodies go through a natural cleansing. We have just spent months indoors, typically eating more heavy foods seasoned with more fat to help keep us warm. When spring comes, it’s time to lighten up your cooking and include cleansing green foods.
Green foods contain chlorophyll, which has many healing properties such as detoxing the liver. The liver, gallbladder, and nervous system are organs to focus on feeding and nurturing during the spring. Chemically similar to hemoglobin, a protein that is essential in red blood cells as it carries oxygen around a person’s body, chlorophyll also can help with wound healing, cancer prevention, and is good for your skin.
Kale and collards greens are in this category of green foods. Both are high in vitamin C, protein, and iron. Celery helps to cleanse the blood, which brings one’s energy up to help with the busier time of spring.
Carrots are a great vegetable to add color and sweetness to any dish. In the recipe below, the sweetness of the carrots and raisins help balance out the bitterness of the greens. Also known for helping to purify the blood, carrots are high in vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus. Seasoning this dish with lemon juice and brown rice vinegar brings in the signature flavor of spring—sour.
Sweet Greens & Carrots
2 cup carrots (pencil-cut)
2 cups celery, including leaves (diced)
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups collard greens (diced)
4 cups kale (diced)
4 cups summer Napa cabbage (diced)
1/4 cup water
1 T. tamari
1 T. brown rice vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
In a large pot, sauté the carrots in a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt for a couple of minutes.
Move the carrots to the side of pot. Add the celery and another pinch of sea salt to the middle of the pot and sauté for a couple more minutes.
Layer the raisins, collard greens, kale, and cabbage on top of sautéed vegetables.
Add the 1/4 cup water, tamari, and brown rice vinegar. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until vegetable are soft.
Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and sunflower seeds.
Mix everything together and serve warm.
Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.
Excerpted from the Spring 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.