Don’t laugh. I hear this all the time. The name of the game for CSA bags in the winter is greens. Our members get all kinds, from kale to chard, to choy, lettuce, collards, mizuna, arugula, mustards, turnip, cabbage, and spinach, to more and more and more of each. I suppose it is no wonder that so many people tell me they are overwhelmed with greens in the winter. Don’t worry, we are here to help with some ideas on how to make sure they nourish your family and don’t end up rotting in the bottom of your fridge.
- Wash and store them as soon as you get your CSA bag home. Then they are ready to be used at a moment’s notice. Sometimes getting out a big bag of unwashed greens can just sound too hard, and so they get left in the fridge another day. If they are ready to be used, they are more likely to be eaten.
- Eat greens three meals a day. Try eggs over greens, or chopped greens in your frittata. Mixed greens salads. Sautéed greens (Organic Eater has a video on YouTube and on her blog to show you how to cook kale and other greens in a frying pan). Greens on your sandwich. Greens in your kids sandwiches. Greens in your soup. Greens in your stews. Greens in your bone broths. Stir-fries with greens. Smoothies with greens. Roasted greens (kale chips) recipes are all over the internet!
- Make a big pot and eat on it all week! I enjoy cooking up a huge pot of mixed greens and then having it all week long. You can mix the kale, collards, mustards, choy, turnips, and about any other greens you have. Just chop them all up and cook them together in the pot. My grandmother did this by putting her chopped greens in the pot, covering them in water, adding a chunk of meat or bone for seasoning. Then simmer until the liquid is reduced to just a nice “pot liquor”, in other words a flavorful broth in the bottom of the pot. Add some salt and hot sauce and enjoy all week long. You will be amazed how quickly a pot of greens the size of Texas quickly cooks down to nothing that gets eaten up in no time!
- Make a juice or green lemonade (or smoothie). Juicing uses up a HUGE amount of greens. Kale, choy, lettuce, chard, and spinach are especially good juiced or added to smoothies. If you find that it is hard to eat all the greens up in a week, then juice up the ones that work well. Try kale, cucumber, ginger, apple and lemon. That makes an excellent high vitamin C anti-inflammatory juice. It also tastes great! If you find it tastes a little strong, then add more cucumber, apple, or lemon. Make it the way you like it.
- Almost any type of crisp greens can be turned into a slaw! Slaws do not have to be just cabbage. They can be cabbage, and kale, and choy or anything else that you like to put in there. Don’t be afraid to experiment. I like half and half cabbage and kale. I add a little mayo, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Simple! Tons of greens go away with a slaw.
- If you have no other choice, you could wash and freeze your greens, to use in soups/broths or smoothies later. Organic Eater keeps a Ziplock freezer bag in the freezer, and anytime there are left over (clean) greens, they go in the bag for smoothies or broths).
Ok, that should be enough ideas to get you started. You really just have to get in the habit of always including greens. Greens are what nature provides in the winter. It must be what our body needs. I find that when it finally gets so cold that all our local produce is gone, greens are what I crave and greens are the first thing I want in the spring. Don’t fight mother nature.
Eat your greens!