Shannon Sponagle

It’s Leafy Greens Time!

Shannon Sponagle
Shannon casts her expert eye over the produce at Lunenburg Farmer’s Market. Photo courtesy of
As the days get longer and warmer, we start looking forward to all of the fresh fruits and veggies that will soon be available locally. But you don’t have to wait until the height of summer to start enjoying local produce. Leafy greens, along with other treats like rhubarb, asparagus and strawberries, are available right now.

Green leafy vegetables, like lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, chard and beet greens, are especially wonderful, in terms of nutrition. Low in calories, they offer a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. They’re also a great source of fibre, which helps to regulate the digestive system, aids in bowel health and helps with weight management. Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may also be one of the best cancer-preventing foods around. Studies have shown that eating 2 to 3 servings of green leafy vegetables per week may lower the risk of certain cancers.

Beet greens
Beet Greens. You need’ em! Photo courtesy of

There is such a wide variety of leafy greens available that can be enjoyed as salad or added to wraps, sandwiches, soups, stir fries, smoothies or omelettes. If you want to venture beyond your usual lettuce or spinach, the most nutrient dense greens are, in order: Watercress, Chinese cabbage, Chard, Beet greens, Spinach, Chicory, Leaf lettuce, Parsley, Romaine lettuce, Collard greens, Turnip greens, Mustard greens, Endive, Chive, Kale, Dandelion greens, Arugula.

For tips on preparing and storing greens safely, please visit my blog!

Shannon Sponagle
Shannon Sponagle. Photo courtesy of

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