Nutrition Bites: Celebrate Earth Day with plant power

The power of plants is remarkable. Eating plants such as fruits and vegetables has been linked to lowering risk for many chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

It is important to know where your food comes from – mostly from the supermarket, right? Unfortunately, growing one's own food doesn't seem to be much of an option these days, and not many people do it. You might even like the idea, but just don't know what to do, or don't have enough time to do it.

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, 2018, below are two easily maintainable vegetables that you can plant in April, along with a recipe for cooking Asian Green Beans.

By Savannah Cass, Tulane Dietetic Intern
April 2018

(Photo by Savannah Cass)

Cucumber Benefits: A low-calorie vegetable high in Vitamin C and Potassium.

How to use: Raw in salads, pickled, or sliced with hummus dip or a light dressing

How to Grow: In New Orleans cucumbers are planted in April
-Fertile soil, moist but not too wet
-Spaced out enough to grow, about a foot
-The more you harvest the more cucumbers will be produced
-Use a knife or clippers to cut the stem above the fruit when harvesting
-Provide water and sunlight and watch them grow.

Green Beans
Green Bean Benefits: High in Vitamin C and Fiber

How to use: Raw in salads, lightly sauteed, or blanched, roasted with spices,

How to Grow:
-Plant in moist fertile soil
-Keep in sunlight
-4-6 inches apart
-Pole beans can grow upward, so planting them by a fence or something they can grow on would be ideal
-Bush beans can be planted in rows
-Harvest when the beans are firm and can be snapped

Recipe: Asian Green Beans

Green Beans 3 cups
Red Onion 1/2 cup
Garlic 2 tsp.
Ginger 1 tsp.
Sesame oil 1 tsp.
Soy Sauce 2 tsp.
Sesame seeds 1 tsp.

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat the sesame oil in a saute pan
2. Add the garlic, ginger, red onions and green beans in the pan on high and continue to stir until the green beans are charred
3. After the green beans are charred, put soy sauce in the pan and then top with sesame seeds

Topics:   nutrition , diet

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