The large-leafed pungent garden mustards grown in this country as pot herbs are generally the brown or Indian mustard. Many types of Indian mustard have been found over the middle half of Asia. There are several centers of development for this plant. The primary one is in Northwest India and adjacent areas, and secondary centers are in Eastern India, Assam, Burma, and China.
Young, tender leaves of mustard greens can be used as salad leaves, while the older, tender leaves are used as cooked greens. These should be cooked in a tightly covered pan for fifteen or twenty minutes with only the water that clings to the leaves after washing. Seasoning depends on taste.
Mustard plants are grown for their seeds in Montana, California, Washington, Oregon, and North Dakota. Indian mustards and other types are grown, some for medicinal purposes and some for use in condiments. In Russia, mustard seed oil has been used in place of olive oil.
Mustard greens can be mixed in salads or cooked gently with other vegetables. Mixing them with other vegetables helps cut down on their strong, biting taste.
Benefits of Mustard Greens
Mustard greens compare favorably with other green, leafy vegetables in their nutritive content. They are superior to some in that they do not lose mineral values (such as calcium) through the presence of the nutrient-stealer, oxalic acid. Mustard greens also contain one of the B-complex vitamins (nicotinic acid), which is a preventive and cure for pellagra. Mustard greens are an alkaline food.
Nutrients in one pound
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