Popeye Had the Right Idea

Long before we had food experts weighing in on what we should eat, we had cartoons to give us good advice.  I like to think that Popeye was the originator of our current focus on eating more fresh greens.  If eating spinach helped him to beat up the bad guys, surely it could also give us enough energy to survive an afternoon carpool or meeting at the office.

In my work, I see time and time again that the biggest barrier to eating more fresh greens is having them ready to eat.  With good intentions, we pick up bunches of kale and collards at the farmer's market only to forget about them until they are limp in the back of the fridge.  Now that spring is in full bloom and greens are abundant, here are my suggestions for including more green goodness in your daily routine.

1.  Pick greens that look bright and fresh at the market.  Choose greens that are local through a farmer's market or CSA when available.  Fresher greens will stay longer.

2.  Wash your greens well when you get home, and then put them through a salad spinner.  Removing excess moisture while allowing your greens to breathe is the best way to preserve them.  Store in the refrigerator for a week or more.

3.  Save odds and ends in a ziploc bag in the freezer.  Greens are great to add to soup stock, stir fry, and other recipes.

Leftover Swiss chard stems from the freezer add a great crunch to a stir fry.

Leftover Swiss chard stems from the freezer add a great crunch to a stir fry.