Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Really, what could be more beautiful than spring greens? The yellow swiss chard is a vibrant green with lovely yellow stems, and all the baby greens are so delicate and delicious! (All available at your local farmers' market...spring is the time for greens, so get out there and get some!) Greens are purifying and uplifting - great for detoxifying after a long winter.
If you tend to leave bags of produce at the back of the fridge and forget about them (as I used to do) you might want to try these tips for ensuring you actually eat your greens in a timely manner:
1) invest in a good salad spinner - get a big one, and make it the best quality you can afford; it really makes cleaning & storing your greens easy and enjoyable. If you eat a LOT of greens like I do you may want a spinner and a crisper so you can keep your spinach separate from your salad greens, for example.
2) make a habit of washing & drying your greens soon after buying them, then store them conveniently in the salad spinner, crisper, or a large airtight container in the fridge - this way you can just reach into your spinner or crisper and pull out enough lettuce or spinach for your salad or other dish
3) look for delicate baby greens that are pre-washed or so small and clean they don't need to be chopped or washed, then just store them in a crisper or other large airtight container. Be sure to use them before a week is up (baby greens are delicate and don't last as well as larger leaf lettuces or hardier greens like chard and spinach).
4) for bunches of greens or heads of lettuce, simply chop off the stems or core, remove wilted or unhealthy leaves, then chop the remaining leaves coarsely (for example, at 3" intervals). Soak in a big bowl of cold water, swishing around to remove the dirt, then finish with a thorough spin in the salad spinner. (Ollie now does my spinning for me!)
5) remember to always cook your spinach before eating (steaming, sauteeing, and braising are 3 great ways to enjoy fresh spring spinach). Raw spinach is high in oxalic acid which can cause mineral deficiencies if eaten in large quantities (don't worry about the occasional leaf tossed into a salad).