, Muskogee, OK

May 21, 2013

Kale among most nutritious leafy greens of all

Fresh at the Market

— The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that most adults eat a cup and a half to two cups of dark-green vegetables per week. That’s because leafy greens and other veggies like broccoli and cabbage are packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other beneficial compounds that our bodies desperately need.

And among those leafy greens, kale is one of the most nutritious of them all, with high levels of vitamins A, C and K, plus manganese and several antioxidants — which all add up to help protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Locally-grown kale and other similar greens are now available at the Muskogee Farmers Market, located downtown directly in front of the Muskogee Civic Center. The market runs from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Growers this week will have a widening selection of springtime produce such as sugar snap and snow peas, asparagus, new potatoes, green onions and garlic, radishes, beets, turnips, baby bok choy, lettuce, strawberries, baby carrots, broccoli, cilantro, spinach, collards, swiss chard, mustards, micro greens and other more.

Producers will also bring farm-fresh eggs, various cuts of frozen grass-fed Dexter beef, locally-grown cut-flowers, bedding plants, hanging baskets, potted herbs and vegetable transplants including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and more.

Other food items expected at the market include a wide variety of ready to eat breakfast and lunch items for enjoying on location or taking on the fly. Options include yogurt parfaits, tamales, burritos, hot dogs and links with grilled veggies, salads, burgers and more. Fresh-brewed coffee, homemade granola and a variety of dips, spreads and other goodies are also normally available.

Vendors will be there with hand-made crafts, candles, soaps, natural body care products, pet treats and more. Not all products listed are available on Wednesdays.

This Saturday, Muskogee County EMS will be hosting “Safety Day” in cooperation with Muskogee Farmer’s Market to provide information regarding public safety and awareness. There will also be a bicycle rodeo in west parking lot of the Civic Center, and the first 50 children to participate in the bicycle rodeo will receive a free bicycle safety helmet and other items.

Also as part of Safety Day, Muskogee County EMS will be accepting donations for the Moore tornado victims and rescue personnel. Items needed are trash bags, batteries, flashlights, bottled water, non-perishable food items, hand sanitizer, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and toiletries. Clothing donations are not being accepted at this time.

On most Wednesdays, from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., OSU Nutrition Educator Michelle Carter-Brown will be at the market fixing simple, affordable and healthy meal and snack ideas with free samples and recipes, featuring items fresh from the market. Demonstrations at today’s market will feature tasty recipes using fresh kale.

SNAP benefits (food stamps) are accepted at the farmers’ market. Customers wishing to purchase eligible foods with their Oklahoma Access card can visit the farmers’ market tent, swipe their card in exchange for tokens, and shop with vendors offering eligible items, which also include food-bearing plants.

And on most Saturdays, B.J. Charbonneau of the Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center will teach free Tai Chi classes near the band-shell and lawn area next to the market at about 10 a.m., weather permitting.

5 Minute Kale

1 lb (1 lg bunch) Kale, chopped

Mediterranean Dressing:

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Garlic Clove, chopped

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste


2 tablespoons Sun Dried Tomatoes (rehydrated and finely chopped)

2 tablespoons Kalamata Olives

 2 tablespoons Feta Cheese

5 drops Soy Sauce

Chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance health promoting properties. Fill bottom of steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to boil. While water is coming to a boil, slice Kale leaves into 1/2-inch slices, and cut again crosswise into squares. Cut stems into 1/4-inch pieces. When water comes to a boil, add kale and onion if desired to steamer basket and cover. Steam 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with Mediterranean Dressing ingredients. For the best flavor, toss dressing while kale is still hot. Top with any/all of optional ingredients.

Serves 2 to 4.

Reach Doug Walton at (918) 360-2012 or