• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Burra Maluca
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Miles Flansburg
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Daron Williams
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
  • Bryant RedHawk

What is the most nutritious green in the entire world?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 22
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To add to the moringa discussions in case people want to try it. We planted it here in our food forest (zone 8A) Central Texas. We get quite a few frosts in winter and it always comes back in summer from the root. The first 2 years, the plant reached 2-4 feet and the following years, they're way above my head (I'm 6 ft 2") by the end of summer and we even get enough time to harvest seed pods before it dies back for winter. What we found very interesting is that it will not sprout back from the root in early spring, it tends to wait till mid summer which made us believe that it wasn't going to work here. I guess it needs the ground to be warm enough before shooting back. When it comes out, it's like a rocket and grows so fast that you can hardly believe it. Hope it helps someone to try this wonderful plant.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 10363
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
369
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's very encouraging, Jan.  I think I might have a couple baby Moringa from seed in my food forest, almost too small to find.  I hope their roots survive this winter and they grow back next year!
 
Posts: 397
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not sure how it stacks up against the rest, but stinging nettle is filled with goodness:

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijfs/2013/857120/

I think it also tastes better than any other greens I've tried, and it's a perennial "weed" that requires zero effort to grow. Just be careful when harvesting!
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 10363
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
369
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've planted Nettle a few times and it has never come up.
 
Posts: 10
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not sure why people get hung up on greens.  A good balanced diet is the best so the more variety you have the better.  Some Suggestions and ideas
If you want survival greens you cant beat sprouting (wheat grass) or rejuvalac for micro nutrients.

NOTE: it has already been pointed out you will starve if you don't get the 3 basic macro nutrients fat, protein and carb.  

if you are looking for micro nutrients and a standard way to measure it look at O.R.A.C. value (these are easily manipulated by individual manufactures but its a nice ball park way of measuring antioxidant value).



The top 20



 
gardener
Posts: 2501
127
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greens are highlighted because they are described by nutrition doctors such as Michael Greger of Nutrition Facts. org as the greatest source of nutrient dense whole foods. I do find your charts useful, though.  Berries are also very useful.
JohN S
PDX OR
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I didn't read every reply, but skimming through this feed i am SO surprised to not have seen anybody answer with NETTLE!!!

Nettle grows everywhere and provides fresh greens for us in early spring.  Traditionally people know nettles as a stinging plant but once you cook them or pour hot water over them the stinging action goes away!
They are an herbal nervine tonic meaning they are wonderful support for our nervous system.  Overall they are a very nutritious green that grows literally everywhere.  The seeds are also extremely useful and medicinal as well.  
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 10363
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
369
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Katy Lash wrote: Overall they are a very nutritious green that grows literally everywhere.  



Not for me, not so far anyway...


 
gardener
Posts: 1888
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
98
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Katy Lash wrote:I didn't read every reply, but skimming through this feed i am SO surprised to not have seen anybody answer with NETTLE!!!

Nettle grows everywhere and provides fresh greens for us in early spring.  Traditionally people know nettles as a stinging plant but once you cook them or pour hot water over them the stinging action goes away!
They are an herbal nervine tonic meaning they are wonderful support for our nervous system.  Overall they are a very nutritious green that grows literally everywhere.  The seeds are also extremely useful and medicinal as well.  



One of the additional benefits of nettle:  a natural antihistamine, with relief in 30 minutes of the eye watering painful sinus type reaction a friend of mine gets in response to exposure to cats.  The mineral content of nettle is believed to be very valuable/high
 
gardener
Posts: 1520
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
196
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thekla McDaniels wrote: One of the additional benefits of nettle:  a natural antihistamine, with relief in 30 minutes of the eye watering painful sinus type reaction a friend of mine gets in response to exposure to cats.  The mineral content of nettle is believed to be very valuable/high



That's good news, since nettles grow here. Do you use a tea of the dried leaves, or eat the cooked veg, or what?
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1888
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
98
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry for off topic:

Tea of fresh or dried leaves would likely be the quickest route to the antihistamine action.  If you took the time to tincture the leaves, then used the drops under the tongue, it might get you the antihistamine action a little faster.

You probably already  know that under the tongue exposes the substances to the circulatory system the fastest.  That's why when someone has angina, they put the nitro glycerine pill under the tongue.  I've never heard of anyone tincturing nettle, but there are so many of us, surely others are using the method for future fast and convenient dosing.  

Dried leaf is pretty easy to store, but you have to make time to make the tea.  Tincture is ready to go, but you have to have the alcohol, and you have to have the means to store it, and the dropper thing to get the appropriate small dose.
 
gardener
Posts: 3858
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1047
bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

john muckleroy jr wrote:What is the most nutritious green in the entire world?
Something you would plant for a survival crop when the us economy collapses?



To me, the most nutritious green in the whole world, is whatever is palatable and is currently in season on my farm. Right now that is spinach, chard, beet greens, onions, and bok choi. I find turnip greens to be barely palatable due to their hairy leaves, but I eat them sometimes when things are normal, so I suppose that I'd eat more of them in a crisis.
 
Posts: 686
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kitty Hudson wrote:'Old' but worth maintaining in this economic climate...and one never knows when one's own livelihood/finances will be devestated (I'm a nurse--all it takes is one bad accident sometimes and a person can no longer work in their chosen field). No one green will give you everything you need, but knowing your local edible weeds will provide you with variety. Here in SW KY, wild greens (some sort of escaped turnip like Seven Top I think) are not uncommon, nor is wild asparagus rown form bird-scattered seeds...usually I see it along fencelines. Lamb's quarters have already been mentioned.

Perennial greens: sorrel and leaves of  horseradish are tasty, though I prefer them in small doses added to other things. Garlic chives are a seasoning, but I do add them liberally to soups and salads.

Think about dual purpose crops as well. Leaves of yardlong beans, beets, turnips, grain amaranth, radish and many others are edible...just pick a leaf at a time from each plant in a row and you'll have plenty for a salad or 'mess' of greens without affecting the production of the plants.

Winter hardy greens that can be harvested all winter long are great too--kale, collards, mustards, etc.

(Not to mention that there are other uses for some of these as well--Hopi Red Dye Amaranth and Bulls Blood Beets are used for red dye as well as food, Radishes--which bolt fast--have seeds well suited to sprouting)

Between dual purpose plants, wildlings, a few perennials here and there, and combining plantings (winter greens started when the beans are fading, quick growing radishes harvested from the same bed just as the amaranth is getting big), a person need not have a large garden to provide them with a lot of greens (But a big freezer would be mighty handy).


Here in central upstate NY moringa is an annual. We normally have very long periods of extreme cold that sometimes freezes the ground at least 2 feet deep.  My yard has very large patches of dandelion, broadleaf plantain, English plantain, I planted nettle in the extreme rear of the property.  I noticed mention of the necessity of Fats, protein, and carbs.  Carbohydrates are absolutely not necessary in the human diet.  I do eat some greens once in a while but fermented veggies every day.  As for a vegetable for a time when we will experience economic and societal collapse which many refer to as SHTF I will depend upon my foraging skills.  This area has so much plantain, dandelion, purslane, lamb's quarters, nettle, et al that finding and harvesting greens from April through October is a simple task.  Because this area was also one of the original commercial Apple growing region's there are Apple trees literally everywhere but I digress.... Greens are good as a source of certain nutrients but humans need animal fats and animal protein to thrive. I raise ducks and geese.  In my opinion geese are a very wise choice as "survival" livestock because they are graders.  Grass is easy unless you live in the desert. How about about nicely grilled Muscovey breast smothered with kale sauteed in duck fat.  Yummmmmm. Another wise SHTF good supply is King Pigeons.  Extremely easy to raise and in fact almost never need "store bought feed" unless you live in a very large city.  
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1888
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
98
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dave Bennett wrote:

Here in central upstate NY moringa is an annual.  



You plant the seed every year?  Where do you get more seed?  Or do you get all the way to viable seed in one season?
 
Dave Bennett
Posts: 686
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thekla McDaniels wrote:

Dave Bennett wrote:

Here in central upstate NY moringa is an annual.  



You plant the seed every year?  Where do you get more seed?  Or do you get all the way to viable seed in one season?


I don't grow it here.  I brought it with me when I moved here from Virginia.  I grow very few veggies. Mostly squash family plants and chilis.  My kitchen compost provides volunteer tomatoes.  I will be growing potatoes next year because my ducks love them boiled and buying organic potatoes just cost too much.  Mostly I do livestock and particularly waterfowl.  In the Spring I have 3 Nigerian Dwarf doelings coming to live with me.  It will be noisy. 60 ducks, a couple dozen Shetland geese, and 3 goats.  
 
Posts: 112
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi dave

You have moringa in new york?
 
Dave Bennett
Posts: 686
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

kevin stewart wrote:Hi dave

You have moringa in new york?


No I guess my original post wasn't clear.  I brought it here from Va. but it did not survive.  The first winter here saw extremely cold weather that lasted for 11 or 12 weeks.  It was well below zero and had extremely deep frontline because of very light snowfall.  
 
John Saltveit
gardener
Posts: 2501
127
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dave-
Greens are good as a source of certain nutrients but humans need animal fats and animal protein to thrive.

Can you imagine that vegetarians and vegans might find this to be a controversial statement?
John S
PDX OR
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 10363
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
369
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I guess I'd want to know what makes "animal protein" different from just "protein" and "animal fat" different from just "fat."  There seem to be some healthy and complete proteins and fats available from plants.  Especially in the tropics it seems quite possible to have a healthy plant-based diet.  This may be more difficult in temperate areas.  

Back on topic:  I'm growing Egyptian Spinach which is supposed to be high in minerals.  Praised by Geoff Lawton in one of his videos.  Planted at the end of summer it is already going to seed though only 6" tall.  It seems the healthiest of all the greens I planted at the end of summer, one of our more challenging time to try to grow food.  I think if I plant it earlier it will do better.  I grew it in the past but didn't like eating it, this time we seem ok with eating it in salad.  I think our tastes are gradually changing to be "less domestic" and "more wild" able to eat weedier-tasting greens.

 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1888
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
98
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a link to the new "moringa" thread.  

https://permies.com/t/59112/food-choices/kitchen/grows-Moringa#502405

I hope we'll get some discussion there from people who have grown and eaten it.

Anyone curious about this highly nutritious green might want to check it out!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1052
Location: Los Angeles, CA
173
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grow moringa as well --- it's a super food.  My problem is that it grows so slow for me --- I'm just not getting enough of it.  I see videos of people in Hawaii or other tropical locations and it seems to grow like a weed there.  Hopefully, by next summer, I'll be able to harvest more aggressively.

Has anyone mentioned Chaya?  It grows really well here.  Some call it Mexican Tree Spinach.  It's very drought tolerant and produces well here in So. Cal.  You need to boil it for 10 minutes (in a non-aluminum pot) before you eat it or use it, or else you'll get sick.  But it's a nutritional super green as well.  I don't like the taste as much as moringa, but it's a heck of a lot tastier than nettles.

The texture of some of the greens mentioned in this thread are not to my liking.  I don't like swiss chard for that reason.  It feels like someone has taken a fine grit sandpaper to my teeth after I've eaten swiss chard.  You don't get that with chaya or morninga.  The moringa leaves are so tiny, they don't have much texture to them at all.

 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1888
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
98
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't like chard either, but what I don't like is it sort of hurts my throat, like there is a sharpness there.

Of course, in a fritatta, I don't notice it, and I do grow and eat chard, but thought I would let you k now, Marco, that I 'm with you on that.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1520
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
196
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:To me, the most nutritious green in the whole world, is whatever is palatable and is currently in season on my farm. Right now that is spinach, chard, beet greens, onions, and bok choi....



I agree! Some greens are medicinal or toxic if eaten in large amounts or regularly, but I believe they're very good for you if varied and eaten as part of a varied diet. Several are said to have harmful oxalic acid if eaten in large amounts, and buckwheat, one of my favorites, is said to cause photosensitivity if eaten in large amounts. Generally when I eat more greens I feel healthier than I used to, so I am encouraged to plant and collect a variety of different greens:

Planted, in winter greenhouse or outdoors in summer: kale, collards, mustard greens, spinach, chard, parsley, claytonia, lettuce, arugula, etc.
Garden weeds in summer: Lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), Malva neglecta, amaranth, and a fragrant mystery weed that I suspect might be a chenopodium.
Wild collected in spring: nettles, Lepidium latifolium (pepperweed), and caper shoots.

I don't plant, collect, buy or eat all of these every year, but have at various points. I feel that if varied, they comprise a superfood, and luckily I enjoy eating them.
 
author
Posts: 19
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most nutritious greens I know of:

stinging nettles (prefer cool weather)
moringa (must have hot weather to grow)
longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens -- needs warm weather)
Egyptian spinach (also known as jute -- needs hot weather)

some other candidates are:

cilantro (not just an herb, I eat these like greens)
minutina (very cold tolerant)
kale and collards



amaranth greens and purslane absolutely loaded with oxalates and would not make a very effective green to be eaten as a large part of the diet.

 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1888
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
98
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
can't remember, but did anyone say anything about the growing conditions and the soil for the greens in question?  It makes such a difference that in addition to Joseph's comment about what is in the ground at his place at the moment, the next most important consideration might be soil and growing conditions, and then time since harvest.

After harvest, the plant cells are still alive and are carrying on their life processes, which means, in the absence of their roots, they are metbolozing what's there in their cytoplasm, possibly compounds that we would have counted as nutritious when we ate it,

As to growing conditions a lot of the compounds we see listed as health enhancing:  phenols, polyphenols, anthocyanins and so on- all those chemist words- are created by the plant in response to stressors in their environment.  So the controlled conditions of hydroponics and greenhouses, which try to moderate every veriable are not presenting the plant with the reasons to make these valuable compounds.

And soil, we know healthy soil supports more nutritious plants.  All tomatoes are not created equal in nutritious content, likewise spinach, kale, collards and other greens.
 
Posts: 13
2
chicken food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Personally I love multi-purpose plants. So things like beets, which can be eaten for their tops or the roots are high on my list. I grow Nettles but I do it in a large pot sunk in the ground. This helps contain them but I think it also helps to protect the roots. I usually allow a corner or two of the garden to get overrun with dandelion purslane and the like so I can harvest not just the tops but the roots as well. I do love chard and usually leave a couple roots in the ground to get an early harvest in the spring. I'm in Western New York and we get some cold weather. But I do find the chard and parsley as well will come back for an early spring harvest. I think planting a couple things you know you like and then adding in a few new ones every year to try is the best way. No matter how well something grows if you don't like it and you won't eat it it's a waste of your time and space. I worked in a greenhouse for 10 years and also grew up in a farming community . Most of the garden failures were a case of trying too many new things at once. It's hard to be patient when confronted with a vast array of choices. Put your top 5 in and add three more. This way you can keep a better eye on the unfamiliar and the familiar and neither will suffer. Just my observations!
 
pollinator
Posts: 300
21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sue Rine wrote:I'd definitely go with variety too, but...my all time favourite is kale. My children say they're going to bury me under a kale bush when the time comes.
My husband and I were involved with a landscaping job in our nearby town years ago. We planted some flowering cherry trees and spread some of my compost around it. A few months later I drove by and to my delight and amusement there was a fine crop of kale growing around the cherry trees.



 Kale is delicious. Just be aware that each green has certain alkaloids and tends to pick up certain chemicals from the soil and from the ground water, so you do not want to eat lots and lots of one kind all the time. Kale specifically picks up one type of chemical (forgot the name, thalium or something like that), which is in our ground water from medications, and people who eat lots of kale daily report mental fog and other problems. I think all brassicas pick it up. Variety is always best.
 
Marco Banks
pollinator
Posts: 1052
Location: Los Angeles, CA
173
books chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's always fun when these old threads find new life and pop back up to the top of the page.

My moringa is now growing prolifically.  In fact, I'm a bit concerned now that I should have planted it somewhere where there is more space.  It looks like it's going to be a huge tree.  I'll have to cut it down and plant a couple of new plants elsewhere.

Chaya is like old faithful.  Every year, it comes back and grows abundantly.  But it's been supplanted on the top of the list by moringa.  More nutrition, better taste, and much less work.  What's not to love?

And after a couple of years, I've finally eradicated all the nettles that I planted.  It was an experiment:  I won't plant those again.  For those of you who love nettles, more power to you.  I never found them to my liking -- either the texture or the flavor.  The fact that they sting you when you accidently brush past them (while picking oranges, in my case) certainly didn't win them any favor in our house.  On more than one occasion, my wife came back into the house, muttering about those damn nettles under the orange trees.

So the nettles are all gone.  I'll put moringa leaves in my eggs now: better for me, and they don't threaten to kill you when you pick them.
 
Posts: 2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love Good King Henry, a lovely perennial spinach. It reliably has produced for me 6 years running and is an early spring green. Nothing like spring omelettes with garlic mustard, chives and Good King Henry and some of last year's tomato sauce!
 
Lisa Petrillo
Posts: 13
2
chicken food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I double-checked my sources to be sure, but oxalic acid is neutralized during cooking. My Nourishing Traditions cookbook guys cover the fact that spinach, chard  and the like contain oxalic acid which is irritating to some people's mouths and throats and block the absorption of some nutrients. They therefore only recommend eating raw greens occasionally. Steaming greens is a recommended way to eat them to neutralize that problem. Also adding butter will help the body to absorb some of the minerals in the greens better. Yummy now I want spinach LOL
 
Joseph Lofthouse
gardener
Posts: 3858
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1047
bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Lisa Petrillo wrote:I double-checked my sources to be sure, but oxalic acid is neutralized during cooking.



I believe that what is happening is that the cooking water is extracting the soluble oxalates from the vegetables. So the amount of oxalic acid in the meal is only reduced if the cooking water is discarded. It wouldn't be reduced if the vegetable was added directly to a soup or stir-fry. So my protocol for cooking something like rhubarb which is very high in oxalates would be to blanch it first before using it in a recipe. (I really dislike the taste of oxalates in my food.)

 
Why is the word "abbreviation" so long? And this ad is so short?
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!