Eating Your Greens

Selection and Storage

When selecting greens for cooking, remember they cook down considerably — from one-quarter or more — from their original volume. So purchase accordingly, i.e., 1 pound raw kale yields about 2 1/2 cups cooked kale; 1 pound mustard greens yields 1 1/2 cups cooked greens.

To store greens, wrap them in damp paper toweling, then place in a perforated plastic bag and refrigerate. If the greens are purchased in good condition and if the paper toweling is kept moist, most varieties will keep one week.


Wash greens thoroughly. Place them in a sink filled with lukewarm water and swish around; (tepid water helps to remove the grit faster than cool water). Remove any roots, stem the greens if necessary, and repeat the washing process until the grit disappears. For salad greens, whirl in a salad spinner or pat dry in paper toweling.

Mild-flavored greens like spinach, kale or chard can be steamed until barely tender. Stronger-flavored greens like collards, mustard or turnip greens benefit from longer cooking in a seasoned broth. They should also be blanched before adding to soups and stews, otherwise a bitter flavor will predominate.

Note: Don’t cook greens in aluminum cookware which affects both their appearance and taste

Cancer Protectors in Our Diets

There are demonstrated links in eating green and yellow vegetables and lower risks of cancers of the lungs, stomach, large intestines and probably other sites. Try to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. A serving is equal to a half cup, so you can easily include two servings in one meal.