Leafy Greens Basics
Leafy greens are low in calories and sodium, but high in other minerals, vitamins and fiber.
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- Choose greens that look crisp. Avoid wilted or yellowing leaves and browned stalks.
- Greens may be fresher and cost less when they are in season. Most are available spring through summer or fall. Kale, mustard greens and collard greens are available during the winter months.
- Try farm stands or farmers markets for local greens in season.
- Frozen spinach is a good value but other frozen greens often cost more than fresh.
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- Wrap greens in a damp paper towel and refrigerate in an open plastic bag or container. Use most greens within 5 to 7 days for best quality.
- Wash greens just before using to reduce spoilage.
- 1. Swish leaves in a large bowl of cool water.
- 2. Let rest briefly to allow dirt to settle.
- 3. Lift leaves from the water.
- 4. Repeat until there is no grit on the bottom of the bowl.
- 5. Pat leaves dry if needed.
- Freeze for longer storage. Blanch (cook briefly) before freezing for best quality. Use within 10 to 12 months.
1 pound fresh greens = 1 to 3 cups cooked (thinner leaves and stems cook down more)
When kids help make healthy food, they are more likely to try it. Show kids how to:
- swish greens in a bowl of water to remove dirt.
- tear or cut leaves away from thick or tough stems