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New Healthy Food #9

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While the nutritional advantages of dark, leafy greens are widely known, not everybody loves spinach as much as Popeye. Branching out to try new types of greens may inspire a previously unrealized appreciation for the wide range of tastes, varieties, and culinary potential within this group.

Chinese broccoli, also known as Chinese kale, or gai lan, is one such leafy green that would be fun to try. Although not widely available in Western markets, Chinese broccoli is quite versatile and is very common in Asia. With a mild taste and tender stalks, Chinese broccoli can be steamed, sauteed on its own or in a stir fry, or make a tasty addition to a fresh salad.

Like the more familiar spinach, kale and broccoli, Chinese broccoli is low in calories and high in fiber and micronutrients. Dark greens like Chinese broccoli are rich in vitamin C, folate, vitamin K and beta-carotene. It is also a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two carotenoids that help preserve eye health in aging.

I have not yet personally tried Chinese broccoli, but it would be fun to do a search of our wide range of grocery stores for a supply, and then present it in a meal without advertising to my family what exactly it is. I am always looking for a new food adventure. How about you?