Greek Powerfoods and Greens from my Winter Garden

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Every winter season I plan on adding various Greek Powerfoods and Greens to my new garden layout, keeping in mind what plants I would like to eat and cook for my family and my blog. I do take notes on what does well in my area, and I actually have changed the way I plant. I carefully select a few of my favorites and plant more of them. Over planting is something I have learned not to do and have decided it’s not the route I want to take. My transition from my dry-dead summer garden to my winter one is always in the month of September and planting in early October.

Planting tips:

  • Growing what does best in your area is important, so I suggest you visit your local nurseries often to see what they have to offer.
  • Read local gardening articles and books to familiarize yourself with what is successful, to save money and plants that won’t work.
  • Plant only what you eat. You can get carried away with all those beautiful vegetables at the garden store.
  • Most importantly, ask your garden friends what they plant and are successful with in their garden.

In the picture above are my Fava beans growing in my larger planter box, but they are not quite ready.
A Greek kitchen is never without Fava beans.
Nutritional Value of the Fava Bean :  One cup contains 13 grams of protein

You may enjoy my Arugula Salad with Fava Beans.

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Spinach is so easy to grow so this is a staple for the Greek diet and it makes great fresh salads.

Nutritional Value of Spinach: 2 cups contains 2 grams of protein, vitamins K,A,C, loaded with calcium.
Recipes: Spinach and Rice-Quinoa, Stuffed Spinach Mushrooms

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What garden would be complete without beets! This year I bought seeds on a strip (which I never do) and it has been very successful.
As I’m writing this post they’re not ready to pick…but don’t forget  to eat the greens.

Nutritional value of Beets: contains Vitamin B,C, A and folate – loaded with the mineral Maganese (14% in 1/2 cup) for good brain health.

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Arugula is always in my garden for it’s health benefits and peppery taste for all my daily fresh salads.

Nutritional value:  2 cups contain 948 IU of Vitamin A for Eye Health and has anti-cancer properties.
Recipes: Arugula Tomato,Watermelon and Feta Salad

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My Sugar Snap peas are just flowering and can be found growing on a tall trellis every season in my boxes. This variety is super-sized and can be eaten fresh or cooked.

Mustard greens have a spicy-hot taste that can be included in soups, stews, and grain salads for an added punch. Or just steam-them with a splash of lemon juice.

Nutritional Value: Contain high -level of Vitamin K, C,and A. Minerals: Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Folic Acid.
Recipe: Crunchy Greens Phyllo Rolls, Crustless Fresh Greens Pie

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In one box I have planted all my herbs and lettuces. This is a new experiment because I cook so often I’m always needing fresh herbs for all my dishes. And once you plant a fresh lettuce garden there’s no stopping you because the lettuce is so sweet and delicious, it’s like no other. Don’t forget to plant all the Fall herbs such as: savory, oregano, marjoram, parsley, thyme, and rosemary.

Nutritional Value: Romaine and Kale have 7 grams of protein (in a 100-calorie portion)
Recipes: Greek Feta Salad, Greek Nicoise Salad

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I saved the best to last!

If I had a large field to garden with, I would plant all broccoli. This plant is so easy to grow besides being so beautiful to look at. It can easily go into your front yard design and be admired by all your neighbors. I have steamed it, added it to my soups, stews, and ate it fresh in my dinner salads.

Nutritional Value: Broccoli  has 11 grams of protein (present in 100-calorie portions)

 I hope this will inspire you to begin a garden this year and plant greens for your recipes and good health!

 

© 2013 – 2018, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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