Monday, April 29, 2013

Crusted Salmon with Wilted Dandelions

Bob harvested a large amount of organic dandelions from the garden yesterday.

This evening I wilted and dished them with a drizzle of butter infused with crushed garlic, shallots, and lemon zest and served them atop crusted salmon.

Dandelion greens are high in calcium, one cup of chopped dandelion greens contain 103 mg, or 10% of the recommended daily amount. They are rich in iron, one cup contains 1.7 mg of iron. These greens are low in calories, one cup of chopped has only 25 calories. The leaves are high in Vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoid (beta-carotene) and vitamin C, which helps facilitate iron absorption. The greens detoxify and cleanse the liver, kidneys, spleen and pancreas. Besides calcium and iron, they are a good source of copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Dandelions have more protein per serving than spinach. The greens themselves are 14% protein and contain all essential amino acids so it’s a complete protein. One chopped cup contains 1.5 grams of protein. Besides vitamin A as beta-carotene  and vitamin C, each cup of chopped dandelion greens are also good sources of vitamins B1,  B2, and B6, vitamin E and K (535%!). The nutrients in dandelion greens may help reduce the risk of cancer, multiple sclerosis, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and stroke. They also contain anti-inflammatory properties which may help those with asthma and other inflammatory diseases.

Vitamin A is important in fighting cancers of epithelial tissue, including mouth and lung. Potassium rich foods, particularly in balance with magnesium, helps keep blood pressure down and reduces risks of strokes. Fiber fights diabetes, lowers cholesterol, reduces cancer and heart disease risks, and assists in weight loss. High fiber vegetables like dandelions take up lots of room, are low in calories, and slow down digestion so the food stays in the stomach longer and you feel full longer. Calcium in high concentrations can build strong bones and can lower blood pressure. B vitamins help reduce stress. Spring greens help rescue your body from the inadequacies of a winter diet. I highly recommend introducing dandelions, ramps, chives, asparagus, broccoli rabe, stinging nettles (steam takes the sting out!), and fava leaves into your Spring diet.

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