Mustard Cooking Growing Herb – How to Grow Mustard Greens
Mustard greens growing in your garden need little care. Mustard greens like cool weather and will grow rapidly. You can fertilize with a balanced fertilizer, but often these vegetables don’t need it in well amended vegetable garden soil. Mustard greens need 2 inches of water a week. If you are not getting this much rainfall a week while growing mustards, then you can do additional watering. Keep your mustard greens bed weed free, especially when they are small seedlings. The less competition they have from weeds, the better they will grow.
Harvesting Mustard Greens
You should harvest mustard greens while they’re still young and tender. Older leaves will get tough and increasingly bitter as they get older. Discard any yellow leaves that may appear on the plant. Mustard greens are harvested one of two ways. You can either pick individual leaves and leave the plant to grow more, or the entire plant can be cut down to harvest all the leaves at once.
The unique healing properties of mustard seeds can partly be attributed to their home among the Brassica foods found in the cruciferous plant family. Phytonutrient Compounds Protective Against Gastrointestinal Cancer
Like other Brassicas, mustard seeds contain plentiful amounts of phytonutrients called glucosinolates. The seeds also contain myrosinase enzymes that can break apart the glucosinolates into other phytonutrients called isothiocyanates. The isothiocyanates in mustard seed (and other Brassicas) have been repeatedly studied for their anti-cancer effects. In animal studies—and particularly in studies involving the gastrointestinal tract and colorectal cancer—intake of isothiocyanates has been shown to inhibit growth of existing cancer cells and to be protective against the formation of such cells.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects from Selenium and Magnesium
Mustard seeds emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of selenium, a nutrient which that has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, decrease some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and help prevent cancer. They also qualified as a good source of magnesium. Like selenium, magnesium has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, to lower high blood pressure, to restore normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, and to prevent heart attack in patients suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
Mustard seeds also qualified as a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and manganese as well as a good source of phosphorus, copper, and vitamin B1.
If you are like most people, the word “mustard” probably conjures up images of ballparks and barbeques. Yet, once you add mustard seeds to your spice cabinet, the word will take on a whole new meaning, as you will also relish the spicy, aromatic rustic taste and fragrance that mustard can add to your meals.
Mustard seeds are from the mustard plant, which is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. While there are approximately forty different varieties of mustard plants, there are three principal types used to make mustard seeds: black mustard (Brassica nigra), white mustard (Brassica alba) and brown mustard (Brassica juncea). Black mustard seeds have the most pungent taste, while white mustard seeds, which are actually yellow in color, are the most mild and are the ones used to make American yellow mustard. Brown mustard, which is actually dark yellow in color, has a pungent acrid taste and is the type used to make Dijon mustard.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking
Tips for Preparing Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds or mustard powder can be used as a condiment in a variety of dishes. Mustard seeds can be used as is or can be roasted in a skillet.
While dried mustard powder does not have a very strong quality, mixing it with water initiates an enzymatic process that enhances its pungency and heat. To moderate its sharp flavor, you can either add some very hot water or an acidic substance such as vinegar, either of which will stop the enzymatic process.
You can easily make your own mustard condiment by first macerating the seeds in wine, vinegar or water. Grind them into a smooth paste, adding herbs and spices such as tarragon, turmeric, garlic, pepper, paprika or any others that you prefer to give your homemade mustard its own unique taste.
Mustard seeds are an excellent source of selenium and a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and manganese. They are also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, copper and vitamin B1.