THE best way to keep harvested greens fresh

Posted 18th Jun, 2015 in On Our Mind
by Robin Kelson
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We learned this tip from Jeanette Cheney at the Wellness Center in Kalispell.

  1. Pick your greens in the morning or evening, preferably before watering.

  2. Rinse the greens, removing any dead leaves, etc. Use cool water, which will refresh the greens if they are heat-wilted or have been sitting in your fridge for a few days (my sister adds ice cubes to the water…it's magic!) If your greens have been sitting the fridge for a bit, or if they are store-bought (and so harvested at least a day before you bought them), some amount of natural plant break-down (decomposition) will be occurring. In this case it's a good idea to wash the greens with a veggie wash (or use an ozonator) to eliminate these natural bacteria. If you are harvesting kale, you can strip the leaves from the stems as you wash them; saves a step. Keep the stems in your freezer for future stock making.

  3. Dry the greens. A salad spinner works great, or a clean pillow case - go outside and wheel your arm like a ferris wheel holding the pillow case. You'll be amazed how much water comes out.

clean greens

  1. Pack your greens: place two pieces of paper towel in an open plastic bag (the plastic produce bags that are on a roll in the store's produce section are great), place 2-4 handfuls of dried greens between the towels, and place OPEN bag on a shelf in the fridge.

These points are KEY:

  • do not overstuff the bag. The leaves need room for air movement

  • keep bag open (same reason as above)

  • keep bag on shelf and NOT in a drawer (same reason as above).

greens in fridge

You'll be enjoying crisp fresh greens for days! And, you can keep reusing the bags and paper towels for future batches (let them air-dry if damp) .

Got more greens than you can eat?? Here's another idea: freeze the greens and toss them into a future smoothie. Freezing preserves the nutrients so the greens stay vital. It also breaks the cellular structure of the plant so it's really only good for adding to a smoothie. In the dead of winter your body will thank you! If you are going to freeze the greens, just add the greens to the bag (no paper towel needed) close the bag, and put in freezer. That's it!

frozen dandelion greens ready for the blender


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