Essential Greens-Cooking Guide

How to prepare and cook nutrient-packed fresh greens.

Dark leafy greens, such as kale, collards and chard, are nutrient powerhouses—rich in vitamins A, C and K. Look for greens in bunches in the produce section near lettuce; beets are sometimes sold with the greens still attached, but you can often find the greens sold separately as well. One pound of greens cooks down to about 1 cup, so plan accordingly.

Beet Greens

Prep: Cut stems 1 inch above beet crown. Trim long stems from large leaves; discard blemished leaves. Wash in several changes of water; drain. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

Cooking: Very tender leaves can be cooked like spinach (see page 125). Cook larger mature leaves, covered, in a wide pot of 2 cups lightly salted boiling water just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain and press out moisture. Be aware that beet greens, like beets, will bleed and discolor accompanying foods.

Yield: 2 servings, about 1/2 cup each

Per serving: 48 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 5 g fiber; 426 mg sodium. Nutrition Bonus: 270% Daily Value vitamin A, 80% DV potassium, 70% DV vitamin C.

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