Leafy Greens

kale.jpg

Photo attribution: 

Flickr: Dwight Sipler (photofarmer)

spinach.jpg

Photo attribution: 

Flickr: Rae Allen

bokchoy.jpg

Photo attribution: 

Flickr: Tim Sackton

Foods Included

Collards, Mustard Greens, Kale, Chard, Broccoli Rabe, Spinach, Water Spinach (Chinese), Bok Choy, Arugula, Beet Greens, Dandelion greens, Ong choy spinach. Amaranth, Lamb's quarters, Endive, Purslane, Radicchio, Salad savoy leafy, Sorrel, Swiss Chard, Upland cress, Watercress, Gelgian Endive

Description

Leafy greens is a broad term for plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, which contain many nutrients. There is a variety of tastes and textures of leafy greens and depending on the type may taste better eaten raw or cooked. Spinach and lettuce taste sweeter and are more tender, kale and swiss chard are tougher, and mustard greens taste more bitter.

Buy It

  • Choose crisp, deeply colored greens.

Store It

  • Keep greens whole until you need to use them.
  • Remove any discolored leaves before storing.
  • To extend length: rinse with water, lay out on paper towels and roll up, secure with rubber band and store in refridgerator.
  • Greens stay good for 3-5 days.
  • If you have a salad spinner, chop greens, rinse in collander, spin, and store in the spinner with the lid on for up to a week!                

Cook It

  • Some greens cook faster (spinach) than ones with heartier leaves (kale).
  • Eat raw, steamed or sauteed.
  • Bake kale for kale chips.
  • Eat with a bit of fat (avocado, veg oil, nuts, nut butters) to get full nutrient benefit.
  • Hearty greens can also be added to soups, scrambled with eggs, or a variety of other creative ideas.

Why It's Great

  • B Vitamins helps our cells grow and stay healthy.
  • Vitamin C keeps our immune system strong and helps our bodies heal quickly.
  • Vitamin E protects cells in our body from damage and keeps our immune system healthy.
  • Vitamin K helps our bodies heal quickly.
  • Magnesium helps with muscle function and energy production.
  • Potassium, a type of electrolyte, helps build muscle and keeps your heart healthy.  
  • Iron is essential for red blood cells and muscles.
  • Calcium is good for bone health.  Combine high calcium foods with with foods that contain Vitamin D for better absorption.
  • A variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems.
  • Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.
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