Prior Cantrell with mustard and turnip greens

October 8, 2010 - Prior Cantrell’s turnips and mustard greens

People in Union County should have lots of healthy foods in their kitchens! With a successful farmers’ market, an abundance of home vegetable gardens, several local produce stands, and people like Prior Cantrell selling fresh picked produce, there are plenty of vegetables available in Blairsville.

Prior Cantrell is currently harvesting bunches of turnip greens and mustard greens. He says, “I sell them from September to the middle of December. Sometimes they get frozen out in November. It all depends on the weather!”

Turnip and mustard greens contain huge amounts of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Turnip and mustard greens both have over 500% of the recommended daily requirements of vitamin K which is used by the body to develop strong bones and to build up the blood. Vitamin A is necessary for good vision, a healthy immune system, and healthy skin. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, an excellent antioxidant, and also builds the immunity. All greens contain large amounts of other nutrients including manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin E, tryptophan, potassium, magnesium, iron, Vitamin B2, and essential omega 3 fatty acids. Eating greens on a regular basis helps to detox the body and keep it healthy.

Greens are easy to cook. They can be steamed, sautéed, simmered, or boiled. They can be added to stir fries, soups, stews, and casseroles. Greens can be cooked plain or with meat. To avoid any hint of bitter flavor, remove large veins (stems) before cooking. This takes a little more effort, but is well worth it for a mild taste. After cooking, season greens with salt, pepper, hot sauce, vinegar, a pinch of sugar, butter, or olive oil.

Mr. Cantrell’s greens are crisp and clean. He washes them and keeps them fresh with buckets of water. Prior Cantrell lives on Cantrell Drive in the Coosa District of Union County.