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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.

Spinach

Prep: Trim stems. Wash leaves in several changes of water. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Cooking: Tender spinach cooks in 1 to 3 minutes. Cook in a steamer basket over an inch of boiling water. Drain excess moisture. Or steam, covered, in a large pot with just the rinse water clinging to the leaves. Or stir-fry in a little olive oil and garlic.

Yield: 2 servings, about 1/2 cup each

Per serving: 46 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 6 g fiber; 167 mg sodium. Nutrition bonus: 270% Daily Value vitamin A, 60% DV vitamin C, 67% DV folate, 55% DV potassium, 30% DV iron.

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