Mustard Greens 101

December 03, 2012

Eating more greens can feel overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to – as they provide interesting flavor and plenty of health benefits. Here’s a quick reference on shopping for mustard greens

What are Mustards Greens?
Mustard greens are a cruciferous vegetable with bright, deep green large leaves. Mustard greens are the leaves of the mustard plant, Brassica juncea.
How to buy:
Look for unblemished, fresh, crisp leaves with no brown spots or yellowing. Usually emerald green; some varieties are dark red or deep purple. Mustard green’s texture varies and can have a crumpled or flat texture; toothed, scalloped, frilly or lacy edges. Primary season December - April, yet they are available year round. Acrid-tasting brown seeds used in Dijon mustard come from these greens.
How to use:
Greens should be wash in cold water and cut off leaves. Has pungent, peppery flavor; can be eaten raw, boiled or steamed (best), in stir fry, soups or sautéed with garlic and oil. To steam, leave whole; sprinkle with lemon juice, let sit 4-6 minutes to activate enzymes, then steam to retain the most nutrients.
How to store:
Store in plastic bag, remove the air, refrigerate for 3-4 days.
Health benefits:
Steamed, has cholesterol-lowering second only to steamed collard greens or kale. High in total glucosinolate content, second only to Brussels sprouts to help reduce cancer. Contains more than 80 nutrients: beta-carotene, manganese, antioxidants and phytonutrients, vitamin K and omega -3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid); high in fiber and folate (500mcg per 100 calories) to support heart health; calcium, protein and more.
Oxalates present; those with already existing or untreated kidney or gallbladder problems should eat small amounts, if any, and consult your healthcare practitioner for advice.
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