The first time I had salad for breakfast it seemed incredibly strange. Breakfast is supposed to be cereal and milk; pancakes and sausage; eggs and potatoes, right? Now I crave it. I have found that leafy greens give me energy like nothing else. I can literally feel my liver cleansing itself. My daily carrot juice makes its effects known by the activity of my kidneys, filtering and cleaning out my system. In plain English, that means it makes me pee, much like my morning coffee addiction. I don’t think I want to totally cut out coffee, but I admit that there is room for improvement by cutting back. I love mint tea, so that helps when I just really want a hot drink. Mint tea also has a stimulating effect which is much less damaging than the effect from caffeine.
Kale seems to be a thing now. I like kale, but I like to mix it up, too. Arugula is one of my favorites, with its rich, nutty flavor. I like a base of romaine and then some other variety of greens and other veggies. But one cannot live on salad alone. How to get enough of those nutrient packed greens into your day? In addition to carrot juice (I like Bolthouse Farms brand), I also drink some green juice. I have made my own, but find that for me, it’s cheaper and easier (though, I admit, I lose out on a few nutrients) to buy it pre-done. I like Bolthouse Daily Greens, but can’t always find it, so will go for Green Goodness or Naked Juice Green Machine. I just prefer the leafy greens over the fruity broccoli and spirulina mixes.
I only eat raw salad in a small portion (about 2 cups) once a day. This is because I eat a high fiber diet and too much fiber tends to make me gassy and bloated. So after my juices and salad/raw veggies I cook the rest of my veggies. In winter I might not even eat any raw veggies. Fried kale, cabbage, collards or beet tops go with almost any meal, great with eggs for breakfast. Properly steamed veggies are tender and delicious. Rich bone broth with plenty of potatoes, carrots and greens and other veggies is a complete meal, as well. Greens go well on sandwiches, either shredded or as a whole leaf. Greens can also be snuck into a smoothie.
Sadly, greens do not can or freeze well and are best consumed fresh. The good news is that they are fairly easy to grow in pots year round, if one is so inclined. I have been meaning to try them in the mobile garden. With the small refrigerator in the mobile homestead, it is easier to remember to only buy enough greens for a few days, as they wilt and spoil quickly. A quick fix for wilted greens is to cut off the bottoms about 1/2 an inch and soak them in cool water for a few hours. They should crisp up and make it for a few more meals. If not, throw them out or put them in the compost bin.
I was disappointed to learn that the local Farmer’s Market will only be held on 2 Fridays this year. Really? This is farm country! That puts a major crimp in my desire to buy and eat local. I have also not seen any produce stands this year. There is a large Amish community here, somebody must have a produce stand! The greens in the supermarket and the health food store look pretty sad. I ended up buying more expensive packaged greens because the bulk ones looked so bad. I intend to do some asking and driving around, determined to find a produce stand somewhere nearby.