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Arugula Nutrition and Health Benefits Rocketing


arugula in Australia salad

Is rocket, rucola, and arugula the same thing?

Yes, rocket and arugula are the same leafy green vegetable. In Australia, arugula is most commonly referred to as rocket. In parts of Europe, arugula is called rucola.


Arugula nutrition profile


Arugula is a nutrient-dense leafy green. It has a low-calorie density, so it is excellent for weight management. Arugula contains several vital nutrients. Below is a general nutritional profile for one cup (approximately 20 grams) of raw arugula:


Calories: 5

Protein: 0.5 grams

Fat: 0.1 grams

Carbohydrates: 0.7 grams

Dietary Fiber: 0.3 grams

Sugars: 0.4 grams


Arugula is high in vitamins and minerals


Vitamin K: This is crucial for blood clotting and bone health. A cup of arugula provides more than 20% of the daily recommended intake.


Vitamin A: Important for eye health, immune function, and cell growth. Arugula is a good source of Vitamin A.


Vitamin C: This is essential for skin health and immune function. Arugula provides a moderate amount.

Folate (Vitamin B9): Important for cell function and tissue growth.


Calcium: Essential for bone health.

Potassium: This can help control blood pressure.


Arugula also contains smaller amounts of several other nutrients, including Vitamin E, iron, and magnesium.


Arugula also has powerful antioxidants, protecting against cellular damage and providing other health benefits. One of the critical antioxidants is glucosinolates.


Arugula benefits

bowl of arugula

Arugula is good for supporting our health. Here are some reasons to include it in your diet:


Rich in Nutrients: Arugula has many vitamins and minerals. Vitamins such as Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients support a range of bodily functions, including bone health, immune function, and heart health.


High in Antioxidants: Arugula contains several compounds with antioxidant properties. This includes glucosinolates and flavonoids. Antioxidants can help protect your body against damage caused by free radicals.


Low in Calories: Arugula is very low in calories meaning you can eat a large volume without consuming many calories.


May Support Heart Health: Arugula's high potassium content helps regulate blood pressure. And its antioxidants help protect against heart disease. It's also a source of dietary nitrates.


Bone Health: It is an excellent source of Vitamin K in arugula is crucial for bone health, as it helps the body use calcium to build bones.


Eye Health: Arugula is a good source of carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids have been linked to a lower risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.


Digestive Health: Arugula is high in fibre, supporting healthy digestion. By adding bulk to your stool it promotes regular bowel movements.


What does arugula look and taste like?


Arugula is a leafy green vegetable with a distinctive appearance. Fresh arugula's leaves are long, lobed, like dandelion greens. Arugula leaves are dark green. But it can be light green to deep burgundy, depending on the variety.


The size of arugula leaves can vary, but they are typically small to medium-sized, with a length of around 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimetres). The leaves are serrated, giving them a jagged or fringed edge.


Raw arugula has a unique taste. The leaves have a slightly peppery flavour that is bitter and nutty. Arugula plants produce edible white flowers that have a spicy taste like the leaves. Arugula's flavour is distinct and well suited to some dishes while not suitable for others.


Why does arugula taste spicy?


Arugula's peppery, spicy flavour comes from compounds found in the plant, particularly isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are part of a larger group of substances called glucosinolates. These compounds have the flavours associated with the Brassicaceae family. The Brassicaceae family includes arugula and mustard, radishes, and wasabi.


When we eat arugula, we damage the plant's cells. When chewing, an enzyme called myrosinase converts the glucosinolates to isothiocyanates. This gives arugula a sharp, spicy flavour.


The 'spiciness' intensifies with age. Older leaves have a more pronounced flavour than younger plants.


Where does arugula come from?


Greece

It is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region. Arugula has been cultivated and consumed for centuries in countries around the Mediterranean. Countries like Italy, Greece, and Egypt have enjoyed it for generations.


Historically, it was primarily used as a medicinal herb rather than a culinary ingredient. It was valued for its supposed digestive and aphrodisiac properties. Over time, it gained popularity as a leafy green vegetable and became a regular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine.


Today, it is cultivated in many parts of the world. Arugula is grown as a cool-season crop. But, due to its popularity, is now available to buy in supermarkets or grocery stores throughout the year.


What is the meaning of arugula?

As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


The word "arugula" is Italian in origin and is used primarily in North American English.

The Italian word "rucola", from which "arugula" is derived, is thought to come from the Latin "eruca". Eruca was a name for an unspecified plant in the Brassicaceae family, the same family as arugula and other similar leafy greens. "Educate" is Latin and means "caterpillar," likely because caterpillars are often found on these plants.


In the United Kingdom and other parts of the English-speaking world, is known as "rocket,". Rocket is derived from the French "roquette," also borrowed from Italian.


As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially as the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


When is the best time to plant arugula?


Location and climate will impact planting. Generally speaking, arugula prefers cooler weather and can be planted in spring and fall (autumn) for most climates. Arugula prefers well-drained, fertile soil, and it does best in full sun but will also tolerate partial shade.


Spring planting

As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


Start sowing arugula seeds as soon as the soil can be worked, usually 2-3 weeks before the last expected spring frost date. Arugula seeds germinate very quickly, usually within a week.

For a continuous harvest throughout the spring and early summer, make successive plantings every 2-3 weeks. Continue doing this until the weather gets too hot, as arugula tends to bolt (flower and go to seed) in high heat.


Fall planting

As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.

Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


How to cook arugula

As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


Arugula is versatile, and there are several methods of cooking you can use to prepare it:


Raw: Arugula can be used raw in salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Its peppery flavour pairs well with many ingredients, adding a nice punch to these dishes.


Sautéed: Sautéing arugula with olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt can make a delicious side dish. But, remember that arugula wilts when cooked, so you may need more than you think.


Wilted: You can wilt arugula into pasta dishes, risotto, or soups. Add it before serving to let the dish's heat lightly wilt the leaves.


Baked or Roasted: Arugula can be included in baked or roasted dishes. For example, you can use it as a topping on a pizza after it's been baked or mix it into a pasta bake.


Blended: Arugula can be used in pesto, replacing or blending with basil. It can also be added to smoothies for a nutritious punch.


Grilled: Though not as expected, you can grill arugula lightly for a charred, smoky flavour. It works well in a grilled salad with other vegetables and a vinaigrette.


Substitutes for arugula

As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula

Bowl of Bany Spinach

Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


It happens we want to prepare something, but the ingredient called for is n

As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.ot on hand. Here are some alternatives for arugula:

As the weather cools in late summer and early fall, you can plant arugula again. The plants will tolerate light frost, and the flavour can even become more pronounced after a frost.


When to harvest arugula


Arugula is in season and ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after planting. Here's how you know when to harvest:


Leaf Size: Arugula can be harvested when leaves are large enough to eat. Baby arugula leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, which might be about 2-3 weeks after planting. For full-sized leaves wait until they're about 4 to 6 inches long.


Taste Test: Arugula's flavour gets stronger as it grows. Young leaves are milder, while mature leaves have a more peppery flavour.


Harvest: Cut the leaves with a sharp knife or scissors. You can cut the entire plant about an inch above the soil to harvest a lot at once or pick individual leaves as needed to harvest a little at a time. The plants often regrow for a second harvest, especially in cooler weather.


Watercress: Watercress has a peppery flavour like arugula, although it's a bit more pungent. It can work well in salads, sandwiches, and even cooked dishes.


Baby Spinach: Baby spinach leaves are tender and slightly sweet. They lack the peppery kick of arugula but can be used similarly, from salads to sautéed dishes.


Frisee (Curly Endive): Frisee has a slightly bitter flavour and a delicate, frilly texture that can add visual interest to dishes. It's often used in salads.


Dandelion Greens: Dandelion greens have a slightly bitter taste and robust texture, which can hold up well in cooked dishes. However, they're much more bitter than arugula, so they might be best in cooked dishes or mixed with milder greens in a salad.


Mustard Greens: Mustard greens have a spicy, bitter flavour that can substitute for arugula. They're usually too spicy to use in a salad but can be mixed with milder greens.


Radicchio: Radicchio has a bitter and spicy flavour, like arugula. It can be a good substitute for salads or cooked dishes.


Kale: While kale has a slightly bitter flavour and a sturdier texture, baby kale can be a milder substitute for arugula in salads.



Safety


Oxalates


Arugula contains oxalates. Oxalates naturally occur in some plants but can lead to kidney stones in sensitive people. For more on this, please read my post called Arugula Oxalates Rocket.


Is arugula safe for dogs?


In small amounts, it can provide some nutritional value. Introduce it slowly and see how your dog responds. If the arugula has come into contact with or contains garlic or onion, do not give it to your dog. Garlic and onion are toxic for dogs.


Is arugula safe for guinea pigs?


Arugula can be a nutritious addition to a guinea pig's diet. Guinea pigs require a diet of fresh hay, high-quality pellets, and various fresh vegetables. Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that can be offered to guinea pigs as part of their vegetable selection.


When introducing arugula or any new food to a guinea pig, starting with small amounts is essential to see how they react to it. Some guinea pigs may have preferences or sensitivities to certain foods, so observing their response is always a good idea.


Here are a few points to keep in mind when feeding arugula to guinea pigs:


Quantity: Offer arugula as a small portion of their overall vegetable intake. A couple of leaves per day is generally sufficient.


Freshness: Ensure the arugula is fresh and free from pesticides or chemicals. Wash it thoroughly before offering it to your guinea pig.


Variety: Rotate arugula with other safe vegetables to provide a balanced diet. Guinea pigs do well on bell peppers, cucumber, cilantro, spinach, and romaine lettuce.


Moderation: While arugula is a nutritious vegetable, it is also high in calcium and oxalic acid. Excessive calcium intake may lead to urinary problems in guinea pigs. Oxalic acid can interfere with calcium absorption. So, it's important not to overfeed arugula or make it a staple in their diet.


Recipe


Here is a simple, practical and fun video by Kevin Lee Jacobs about how to make wilted arugula/rocket on toast with hummus. A tasty quick meal.


To reduce the calorie density use a splash of water to wilt the arugula/rocket. You could also find a lower-fat hummus or make your own. Also to boost the healthiness go low sodium.



Arugula in Australia Rocketing Summary


In Australia is generally called rocket. Leafy vegetables such as arugula are important to our diet. We should include them in our daily diet if possible. There are many benefits of arugula in our diet rich in plants.


It is a nutrient-dense food that is a tasty and versatile ingredient that can be eaten raw or cooked. Most people use arugula raw in salad and don't think to cook it. If you haven't perhaps give this recipe a go. Let me know what you think. I hope you enjoyed the post and the snack.




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