Everyday I wake up at Taino Farm, I see a lot of vegetables that I can’t stop imagining the quantity of recipes I can do. So I want to share with you some information that I learn at the farm and some recipes you would like to prepare if you come as an intern.
Vegetables can be consumed either raw or prepared culinary. In Taino Farm there are many species of edible plants, and I will present some of them in this blog.
In particular, I don’t really enjoy the taste of the spinach even if it is one of the most used and famous vegetables in the world, but my mom says that eating spinach daily has a positive effect.
As I trust in my mother and science magazines I started to eat spinach, and fortunately at Taino Farm we have the Indian spinach.
The Indian spinach is a small plant that is known for many factors as antifungal, anticonvulsant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, androgenic activities and for treatment of anemia, amazing, right?
It is also an astringent and a treatment of diarrhea if you cooked the roots. The leaf juice is a demulcent, used in cases of dysentery
So if you eat the Taino’s spinach you will have proteins, fat, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B9, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron in your body.
How do I prepare it?
The way I like it the most is in a juice mix with fruits, so I will not taste its flavor. The culinary possibilities of this spinach also include its use for thickening soups, for stir-fries or stews with garlic and chili peppers, in salads or steamed with tofu and ginger (***).
And remember, if you want to grow stong and healthy as Popeye, you should eat more spinachs.
The cabbages are vegetables famous for their strong flavor. In Taino Farm we have two types of cabbages, one is the Kale and the other is the Bok Choy and it takes them 45 days to grow at the aquaponic system, but don’t worry, we plant them every week.
Before I came to Taino Farm, I didn’t have an idea that this vegetable existed. But now I know about it, and I think you can learn a lot of things at this farm as me. This vegetable is from the same family as broccoli and cauliflower.
What I like about this plant is that it helps improve the mood, reducing cholesterol, improving immune function, preventing cancer, and reducing the risk of diseases.
I like to eat kale in salads or sandwiches, but it can also be steamed, boiled, sautéed, and added to soups and smoothies (***). You choose how to prepare it.
It has different names like pak choi, bok choy, paksoi or Chinese cabbage. This plant is also really new for me so I had to ask for help in how to cook it.
At the beginning I was thinking that is a kind of spinach because it looks like it, but in reality it is a cabbage.
We confuse them with spinach because the Chinensis varieties do not form heads and have green, smooth and dark leaves.
Bok choy is a vegetable that is 95% water, but it also is a rich source of vitamin A, C and K. It also provide folate, vitamin B6 and calcium in moderate amounts.
I like to cook it making fried rolls with cheese inside and with some soup beside.
The arugulas are really important plants that we should have in the kitchen, because they give a special flavour to our dishes. At Taino Farm, we cultivate two types of arugula: Arugula silvestre and Arugula italiana and it takes approximately 40 days to grow.
Arugula silvestre / Wild Arugula
At the beginning I didn’t know how to differentiate between these two arugulas, but now I’ll tell you how you can see the difference. Both are small but what makes arugula silvestre different is that its leaves are more elongated and serrated than italian arugula leaves.
It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is located in the center and east of Spain, the rest of southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. It is cultivated to use the leaf in the diet, especially in salads. And surprisingly, we can also use their seeds by making some edible oils (***).
You can consume it in salad, combine it with lettuce or other green leaves. It can be a substitute of spinach, giving a delicious and stimulating flavor. You can also use it to make pesto (instead of using basil) or put it on the pizzas after baking them (***). At the Taino Farm tour, Yocairi our chef, likes to do a mix of arugula with lettuce and coriander, it tastes amazing!
Arugula or rocket is more known for its fresh, tart, bitter, and peppery flavor. Other common names include garden rocket and eruca. Some more names are “rocket salad”, “rucola”, “rucoli”, “rugula”, “colewort”, and “roquette”. At the farm, the workers know it like rucula, so try to remember it and don’t get confused.
What is interesting for me is that they are species from the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal in the west to Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey (***) in the east, and now, we have them here at Dominican Republic.
And what is more important is that this arugula contains glucosinolate. This substance is very effective in the fight against some types of cancer, like pancreas, breast and colorectal cancer.
It has a high content of vitamin A. It is linked to flavonoids, also prevents other types of cancer, such as lung, mouth and skin cancer. As if that were not enough, the chlorophyll it contains prevents the liver from being damaged by carcinogenic substances (***).
What is really cool of staying at the farm? That I can have everyday farm to table lunch and even more, I’m having a healthy life!
Come and try the veggies at Taino Farm, I know you’ll love them!