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Give your garden a boost of nutrition

Published 4:48pm Saturday, May 12, 2012

If you are looking for a boost in nutrition this garden season, look no further than a new line of vegetable plants from Burpee Home Gardens.  The recently released “Burpee Boost” high-nutrition vegetables have up to 500 percent more nutrients compared to other home garden varieties.  The collection contains well-loved varieties of vegetables including lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.

Here is a little more about each variety:

•Healing Hands Salad Mix:  This is a lettuce salad mix that contains 20 percent more lutein, 30 percent more carotenoids, and 70 percent more anthocyanins.    All these nutrients are potent antioxidants which can reduce free radicals in the body; free radicals are compounds which can produce inflammation and chronically can lead to disease if not mediated.  During the growing season, you can harvest this lettuce every three weeks, cutting down to 2 inches; it will then regrow and you can continue harvesting.  This lettuce will be full of different colors, flavors and textures.   Harvest in the morning as leaves are more crisp, more sweet and full of moisture.  Not only can you grow this lettuce in your garden, but it works perfectly for a container as well.  Be sure to water frequently.

•Sweet Heat Sweet-to-Spicy Pepper:  This mildly spicy pepper can be eaten raw or cooked, red or green.  It contains 65 percent more vitamin C – essential for immunity and healing.  The Scolville rating, which is a measure of capsacin or heat in the pepper, is 300, which is equivalent to a banana pepper or pepperoncini.  Compare that to a bell pepper with a Scolville rating of 0 and a jalapeño pepper with a Scolville rating of 3,500 and you can see that the Sweet Heat Pepper will just be mildly spicy.  This pepper plant works well in a garden or planter container.  Peppers are thirsty plants; water in moderation throughout the season — but pepper plants don’t like overly saturated soil.  As the season progresses, you may need to stake your pepper plant if the peppers are weighing it down; use a rubber band to provide flexibility around the stem (instead of a twist tie or rope which can break the stem).

•Cherry Punch Small-Fruited Tomato: This 1-inch diameter tomato will provide 30 percent more vitamin C and 40 percent more lycopene, a necessary cancer-fighting antioxidant.  Early-producing Cherry Punch will provide high yields throughout the season as long as watering takes place about twice weekly.  Be sure to leave three feet in between plants as they will grow to need that space, and provide support in the form of stakes or cages.  Not only great in a garden, but also perfect on the patio – be sure to have a location with at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.

You can find all of these plants at your local Hy-Vee Garden Center.


Chicken Caesar Pizza
Serves 4

All you need
1/4 cup light Caesar dressing
1 (10 oz) whole wheat thin crust pizza crust
1 cup chopped grilled chicken breast
1/4 cup Hy-Vee shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 small Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

All you do
1. Spread dressing on pizza crust. Sprinkle with chicken and Parmesan.
2. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before sprinkling with lettuce and tomatoes.
Nutrition facts per serving: 300 calories, 8g fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 600mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 4g sugar, 21g protein.
Daily values: 25% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 15% calcium, 10% iron.

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