Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rutabagas Rule

Well, maybe not rule, but rutabagas (one of the many Brassica vegetables I write about on this blog) are right up there in the running as a great food source for a molecule called apigenin, which has been shown to actually reverse an aggressive type of breast cancer in mice. I wrote about this study on my blog earlier this week and realized I should cross - post the study on my kale blog, too, even though apigenin is not in kale or other typical Brassica vegetables like broccoli.

Why? This type of research substantiates my advice to continue to eat a variety of whole foods (even rutabagas!, which are my husband's favorite vegetable). Why again? Because there is no one food, no one group of foods, and no one molecule in foods that will ever be the proverbial 'magic bullet'.

Not only is there more to learn about each food and/or each molecule, more importantly, we will never fully understand the complexity of biological interactions as these hundreds (if not thousands) of molecules consumed in our foods are working together synergistically to promote optimal functioning and health. 

Here is a chart showing which foods have apigenin and which foods contain other health-promoting compounds called flavonoids, of which apigenin is only one. (For comparative purposes, there are over 600 known carotenoids, of which beta-carotene found in foods like carrots is only one of them. Just think of the potential interactions going on in the body mixing just flavonoids and carotenoids!)

You can't go wrong by eating whole foods. Who knew even the leaves of Queen Anne's lace are a high source of apigenin? Next time I'm weeding them out of the garlic fields, I'll certainly look at them differently and even try to add some of the leaves to our salad that night!

Here is Dick's recipe for Glazed Rutabagas. :) You will notice that his blog should now be called "no time 4 blogging" instead of "no time 4 bland food". Something happened in 2009 - oh yes, we bought this foreclosed property and started this farm!! I give up sleep to blog. :)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate, along with the leaves from pesky garden weeds!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Thursday, May 10, 2012

'The kale's puckered sleeve'

Isn't that a beautiful image? I do believe this is the first time I have seen kale included in a poem. The line is from '6. The Garden' in the poem Rain by Mary Oliver. Here is the rest of The Garden:

The kale's
puckered sleeve,
the pepper's
hollow bell,
the lacquered onion.

Beets, borage, tomatoes,
Green beans.

I came in and I put everything
on the counter: chives, parsley, dill,
the squash like a pale moon,
peas in their silky shoes, the dazzling
rain-drenched corn.

I finally sorted my seeds (they have been stashed safely for the past three years) and figured out what we have to plant in our family garden this year. I save the Brassicas and heirloom beans, which I mostly grow for their dried beans. Here is a photo of the Brassica seeds on my dining room table. I am late planting this spring, but I'll get a little bit in now and save the rest for late summer-fall planting. 

I think Mary Oliver is referring to the Lacinato, or dinosaur, kale variety (lower left corner of the photo) when she uses the words 'The kale's puckered sleeve'. What do you think?

Which varieties have you planted already? 

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD