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My Living Lettuce

Posted Feb 02 2012 10:36am

There was a new farmer at my farmers’ market yesterday and he sells watercress!!!

Is it silly that I got so excited about this? Watercress is one of the healthiest foods and greens on the planet and I’ve been searching for months for a local vendor who grows it, but I’ve been told it takes too much water to grow where I live. The farmer I met yesterday grows his greens hydroponically and runs a 100% organic operation.

He also had two types of butter lettuce:

Because all the greens still have their roots, they are considered still living. They have made a new home on my kitchen counter:

I made a little salad with the butter lettuce last night with dinner, the leaves were so tender and delicious:

By the way, in case you’re wondering how I eat watercress, I have only blended it into a green smoothie , I have not eaten it in a salad because I’ve heard it is bitter. If I try any other recipes using watercress, I will post them.

On that note, I’ve been asked a few times about the major controversy brewing in the plant-based world about the healthfulness of green smoothies after Lindsay of the Happy Herbivore made a post ( it has since been taken down so I cannot link to it ) on why she stopped drinking them. She basically said that green smoothies are not nutritious because the fiber gets broken down too much in the blender and so the glucose gets absorbed too quickly and leads to inflammation. She got her information from Dr. Esselstyn who discusses the issue here .

I have done some research on this topic including a Twitter Chat with an M.D. and a dietitian who said that there is no scientific evidence supporting Dr. Esselstyn’s assertion that green smoothies are not healthy. Dr. Fuhrman has also said that drinking blended greens are in fact very health-promoting because the blending process breaks down the cell walls of the greens better than chewing ever could which releases the phytochemicals for better absorption (I am not quoting him, this is my interpretation of what he has said).

The bottom line for me is that green smoothies are an important part of a health-promoting diet, but we do need to be careful about how much fruit we are adding to them. For people who have blood sugar issues, their green smoothies should not include more than one serving of fruit and preferably fruits that carry a low glycemic load including kiwi, berries and apples.

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