Bok choy

Bok choy isn’t just another one of those leafy greens that gives a summer stir-fry a flavorful kick. The Chinese green also has a diverse nutrition profile. All the more reason to grow it yourself, or buy the spicy veggie on your next trip to the farmers market!

Bok choy (also known as pak choi, bok choi) feels similar to lettuce (it’s quite tender and watery), but is part of the cabbage family (brassica). The cruciferous green tastes light and peppery. When cooked, the vegetable’s white-ish stalks remain crisp and its broad leaves wilt. The green is a great addition to chilled, summery noodle salads, or with baked tofu.

As mentioned previously, bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and kale, may help decrease the risk of cancer. Bok choy also contains beta carotene, folate and vitamin B6. Also: 1 cup of cooked bok choy has the same amount of calcium as 8-ounces of milk, and 1 cup of shredded, raw bok choy contains half the daily requirements for vitamins A, C and K!

If you want to grow bok choy:

  • Bok choy should be thinned to 14 inches apart. Baby bok choy can have as little as 6 inches between plants. Baby bok choy also can be grown in containers.
  • Bring in the Chinese green as you need it — protect or pull plants before a hard freeze.
  • The green is cold tolerant, but not hardy.
  • Bok choy is a spring/fall green that does well in full sun (or partial shade in the summer). Spring crops are more difficult to grown than direct-seeded fall crops.
  • The plant needs well-drained soil.

Resources:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-greens-zmaz80jfzraw.aspx

http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/kate_gridley/2011_03_20/ahoy_bok_choy

http://www.livestrong.com/article/5382-need-health-benefits-bok-choy/

http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene0bdf.html

Image: thebittenword.com