Leafy Green Vegetables “Eat your Spinach” Selecting Your Leafy Greens Always select vegetables that feel firm and crisp. Are unblemished skin or leaves. Bright Green color. Free of brown spots , slime and bugs. Quality & packaging Discuss Fresh vs Frozen ? Canned Cello pack Bulk pack ORGANIC? Cleaning Vegetables Cleaning is always the first step-in preparing leafy greens. You can cut and trim as needed. Washing removes any surface dirt as well as bacteria. Often leafy greens contain sand, dirt and bugs. Wash in Cold! water, skim,spin and store properly. Cooking Green Veggies Contains Chlorophyll- gives it it’s color. Cook uncovered so acids may escape. Cook quickly- firm to bite. Small batches. Blanch and chill in ice water. Wilting ?? Cooking methods Steaming. Boiling . Sauteing or Wilting . Braising or Stewing. Spinach Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (modern Iran). Arab traders carried spinach into India, and then the plant was introduced into ancient China, where it was known as "Persian vegetable". The earliest available record of the spinach plant was recorded in Chinese, stating that it was introduced into China via Nepal (probably in 647 AD). • In AD 827, the Saracens introduced spinach to Sicily. The first written evidence of spinach in the Mediterranean are in three tenth-century works, Spinach became a popular vegetable in the Arab Mediterranean and arrived in Spain by the latter part of the twelfth century where the great Arab agronomist Ibn al-'Awwam called it the "captain of leafy greens." Spinach was also the subject of a special treatise in the eleventh century. • The prickly-seeded form of spinach was known in Germany by no later than the 13th century, though the smooth-seeded form was not described till 1552. (It is the smooth-seeded form that is used in modern commercial production). Spinach first appeared in England and France in the 14th century, probably via Spain, and it gained quick popularity because it appeared in early spring, when other vegetables were scarce and when Lenten dietary restrictions discouraged consumption of other foods. Spinach is mentioned in the first known English cookbook. In 1533, Catherine de'Medici became queen of France; she so fancied spinach that she insisted it be served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as "Florentine," reflecting Catherine's birth in FLORENCE. Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants and Iron. • • • Mustard greens Mustard greens, Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, and leaf mustard, is a species of mustard plant. Sub varieties include southern giant curled mustard, which resembles a headless cabbage such as kale, but with a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor. It is also known as green mustard cabbage. The leaves, the seeds, and the stem of this mustard variety are edible. The plant appears in some form in African, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and soul food cuisine. The leaves are used in African cooking, and leaves, seeds, and stems are used in Indian cuisine, particular in mountain regions of Nepal, Punjab cuisine of India and Pakistan,As with other greens in soul food cooking, mustard greens are generally flavored by being cooked for a long period with ham hocks or other smoked pork products. Mustard greens are high in vitamin A and vitamin K. Swiss chard Swiss chard Chard can be harvested while the leaves are young and tender, or after maturity, when they are larger and have slightly tougher stems. Raw chard is extremely perishable. • Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sauteed; their bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a refined flavor which is more delicate than that of cooked spinach. KALE Kale is a form of cabbage (Brassica oleracea Acephala Group), green or purple, in which the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. Kale freezes well and actually tastes sweeter and more flavorful after being exposed to a frost. • Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other such strongly flavoured ingredients as dry-roasted peanuts, tamari-roasted almonds, red pepper flakes, or an Asian-style dressing. • In the Netherlands it is very frequently used in the winter dish stamppot and seen as one of the country's traditional dishes, called boerenkool. • In Ireland kale is mixed with mashed potatoes to make the traditional dish colcannon. It is popular on Halloween when it is sometimes served with sausages. Small coins are sometimes hidden inside as prizes. • A traditional Portuguese soup, caldo verde, combines pureed potatoes, diced kale, olive oil, broth, and, generally, sliced cooked spicy sausage. Under the name of couve, kale is also popular in Brazil, in caldo verde, or as a vegetable dish, often cooked with carne seca (shredded dried beef). When chopped and stir-fried, couve accompanies Brazil's national dish, feijoada. • In East Africa, it is an essential ingredient in making a stew for ugali, which is almost always eaten with kale. Kale is also eaten throughout southeastern Africa, where it is typically boiled with coconut milk and ground peanuts and is served with rice or boiled cornmeal. • A whole culture around kale has developed in north-western Germany around the towns of Bremen, Oldenburg and Hannover. There, most social clubs of any kind will have a Grünkohlfahrt ("kale tour") sometime between October and February, visiting a country inn to consume large quantities of boiled kale, Most communities in the area have a yearly kale festival which includes naming a "kale king" (or queen). COLLARD GREENS The plant is commercially cultivated for its thick, slightly bitter edible leaves. They are available year-round, but are tastier and more nutritious in the cold months, after the first frost. For best texture, the leaves should be picked before they reach their maximum size, at which stage the leaves will be thicker and should be cooked differently from the new leaves. Age will not affect flavor. Flavor and texture also depend on the cultivar; the couve-manteiga and couve tronchuda are especially appreciated in Brazil and Portugal. • Fresh collard leaves can be stored for up to 10 days if refrigerated to just above freezing (1 °C) at high humidity (>95%). In domestic refrigerators, fresh collard leaves can be stored for about three days. Once cooked, they can be frozen and stored for greater lengths of time.Collard greens are a staple vegetable of southern U.S. cuisine. They are often prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables, such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens in "mixed greens". They are generally eaten year-round in the South. Typical seasonings when cooking collards can consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks, smoked turkey drumsticks, pork neck bones, fatback or other fatty meat), diced onions, vinegar, salt, and black, white, or crushed red pepper. Traditionally, collards are eaten on New Year's Day, along with black-eyed peas or field peas and cornbread, to ensure wealth in the coming year, as the leaves resemble folding money Cornbread is used to soak up the "pot liquor", a nutrient-rich collard broth. Collard greens may also be thinly sliced and fermented to make collard kraut, which is often cooked with flat dumplings. DANDELION GREENS Dandelions are thought to have evolved about thirty million years ago in Eurasia. They have been used by humans for food and as a herb for much of recorded history. They were introduced to North America by early European immigrantsDandelions are found on all continents and have been gathered since prehistory, but the varieties cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia. A perennial plant, its leaves will grow back if the taproot is left intact. To make leaves more palatable, they are often blanched to remove bitterness. Dandelion leaves and buds have been a part of traditional Sephardic, Chinese and Korean cuisine. In Crete, Greece, a variety called Mari (Μαρί), Mariaki (Μαριάκι) or Koproradiko (Κοπροράδικο), has its leaves eaten raw or boiled in salads by the locals. Another endemic species of Crete, which is found only at high altitudes (1000 to 1600 m.) and in fallow sites, called pentaramia (πενταράμια) or agrioradiko (αγριοράδικο) and which has been named Taraxacum megalorhizon by Prof. Michalis Damanakis of the Botanics Department of the University of Crete, has its leaves eaten raw or boiled in salads by the locals. • The flower petals, along with other ingredients, are used to make dandelion wine. The roasted, ground roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. • Dandelion leaves contain abundant amounts of vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A, C and K, and are good sources of calcium, potassium, iron and manganese. CABBAGE FAMILY RED CABBAGE. SAVOY CABBAGE. CHINESE CABBAGE. BRUSSELS SPROUTS BAK CHOY Other than the ambiguous term "Chinese cabbage," the most widely used name in Northern America for the chinensis variety is bok choy (from Cantonese, literally "white vegetable"; also spelled pak choi, bok choi, and pak choy). Less commonly, the Mandarin term xiao baicai ("small white vegetable") as well as the descriptive English names Chinese chard, Chinese mustard, greengrocery, celery mustard, and spoon cabbage are also employed.