It’s the first week of October and I just planted veggie greens starts in my raised bed. Yup it’s not too late. I bought two kinds of collard greens, Bok Choy Rosette (a dwarf variety) and 2 butter leaf lettuce (Rhapsody Butterhead and Little Gem). Adding pounds of fresh greens into my diet this summer has been great for my energy and my waistline.
Each week I pick a mixture of greens. I wash them in a dab of dish soap and cold water. I spin them dry and stuff them into a large pickle jar. I feel better and breakfast has been quick and yummy. The smoothies are so tasty! Each morning I scoop out 2 fistfuls of greens, add protein powder, frozen fruit and blend. It’s so fast, tasty and healthy it’s got to be wrong! My fav combo is basic greens with basil, frozen peaches, 3 strawberries and 1/2 a banana with coconut milk. The basil and banana are sweet enough I don’t miss adding sugar. Basic greens could include kale, chard, beet greens or collard greens, romaine lettuce and arugula.
Now that it’s fall, I still have lots of chard and kale left from summer. My kale is 5’ tall and I have underplanted them with bok choy starts and more kale starts. I’m not harvesting my kale until after the first frosts hit. I’m told the kale from this summer will sweeten with the cold and taste even better. Here are the kale varieties I’m growing right now: Italian heirloom Lacinato, (it’s sometimes called Black Kale) Winterbor, Red Ursa. I still have lots of rainbow chard and I continue to harvest the largest outside leaves so the plants don’t get huge. They are about 1 foot high at maximum. If you are a beginner, chard is easy and prolific.
In addition to smoothies, greens are so great in soups. I use a pressure cooker to make soup quickly and I pick easy recipes because I’m really not the cook in my family.
My brother is the hot shot cook in our family and I was always outside in the garden with my dad. My favorite recipe is Ethiopian – Inspired Red Lentil Soup. I’m going to grow my greens and use them for as long as I can this winter. If I bought the greens each week at a grocery store it would easily cost $100.00 in a month so I’m saving money too.