Cooking Matters: Calcium

Editor’s note: Cooking Matters will regularly bring the nutritional expertise of Solid Ground’s Cooking Matters program to our blog. We hope you enjoy their tips and recipes!

Collard greens, a great source of calcium!

I hope everyone enjoyed the fantastic Northwest weekend! I took a few great walks, including a trip to the local farmers market. I’m really excited about the upcoming produce season!

One of the great benefits of the abundance of greens we have in the Northwest is that many of them are packed with calcium. Many folks are lactose intolerant, and even people who can safely consume dairy often wonder how in the world they are going to take in enough dairy products to get their calcium.

No fear, there are options! One option is to use dairy substitutes such as soy milk instead of cow milk, because calcium is added to the soy milk so that it has the same amount as regular milk. But there are plenty of other options for getting the calcium needed for building and maintaining bones. Many plant products are actually quite good sources as are some animal products (like canned salmon, yum!).

Here are some nondairy sources of calcium:

  • Collard greens, 1 cup (357 mg)
  • Spinach, 1 cup (291 mg)
  • Soy beans, 1 cup (261 mg)
  • Canned salmon with bones, 3 oz (181 mg)
  • Calcium-set tofu, 3 oz (163 mg)
  • Oranges, 1 cup (72 mg)
  • Almonds, 1 oz (70 mg)
  • Fortified cereals (varies)

You can find more information and other sources here:

Adults should get between 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium a day, based on their sex and age. It’s important to incorporate calcium-rich foods into your diet to maintain bone health. See below for a Cooking Matters Recipe that’s a good (nondairy) source of calcium!

Pasta with Lima Beans and Collard Greens

By Chef Carole Wagner Greenwood in Washington, DC

Serves 12, 1 cup per serving

INGREDIENTS

1 – 13 oz package whole wheat pasta
1 – medium carrot
2 – cloves garlic
2 – medium onions
2 pounds (1 bunch) – collard greens
2 tablespoons – canola oil
½ cup – water
1 teaspoon – dried oregano
1 teaspoon – dried red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon – ground black pepper
3 – 15.5 oz cans lima beans

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

2. While pasta is cooking, peel, rinse and dice carrot and onions. Peel and mince garlic.

3. Rinse collard greens – more than once if necessary to remove all grit, remove tough stems and chop coarsely.

4. Heat canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and sauté garlic, carrot, onion and greens until onions are soft.

5. Add water and spices, and cook until greens are tender.

6. Drain and rinse beans in colander. Add beans to the greens. If needed, add a little more water to make a sauce.

7. Toss greens and beans with cooked pasta and cook for 5 more minutes or until pasta is heated through.

Contains 150 mg Calcium per serving.

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