What is it?
Parsley is a green leafy herb found in all grocery stores and vegetable markets. There are two varieties of parsley; flat leaf and curly leaf. Nutritionally, there is no notable difference. Flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavour that holds up better when heated.
What makes it a power food?
Anti-Cancer: The natural oils in parsley appear to be powerful compounds that protect healthy tissues from cancer; studies have shown they actually neutralize carcinogens!
Rich in anti-oxidants: Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins C, and A. In fact 1 cup of parsley has about 80 grams of vitamin C. Compare that to a medium orange which has only 60 grams of vitamin C.
Build and maintain strong bones: Like most leafy greens, parsley is an excellent source of vitamin K. Vitamin K plays a major role in bone health as it helps bind calcium to the bone matrix. Getting at least 100 micrograms of vitamin K a day can increase bone density. Just 1/2 cup of parsley has approximately 180 micrograms of vitamin K!
Cleansing: Chloryphyll in parsley has some anti-fungal and anti-bacterial benefits. As well, raw parsley acts as roughage in the colon and can help relieve and prevent constipation.
How to use it?
A great way to keep parsley fresh is to trim the stems and store in a glass or mug of water in the fridge. Washing and lightly drying it just prior to use prevents it from wilting. Add chopped parsley to your favourite pasta dish, sandwiches, and of course salads.
Cleansing Parsley Smoothie
1 small organic banana
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup wild blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1 TBSP chopped fresh ginger
2 TBSP (or more) fresh lemon juice
Add all ingredients to a blender. Add approx 1/2-1 cup of water. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
Tabouli (Lebanese Parsley Salad)
2 bunches of parsley, washed, dried and finely chopped
4 roma tomatoes or 2 large hot house tomatoes diced very small
1/4 cup bulgar wheat
1 small onion finely chopped
juice of 1 medium-large lemon
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP dried mint (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Place the bulgar wheat into a bowl and add the diced tomatoes. Add the lemon juice. Stir and let soak while the parsley and onion are prepped. Then, add the chopped parsley and onion to the bowl, along with the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can add more or less lemon juice and olive oil to your desired taste.
*For a gluten free option replace the bulgar with cooked quinoa!
serves 4 side dishes
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