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HappyHealthy Greens Newsletter

Filed Under:
Publication Number: P3411
View as PDF: P3411.pdf

Helping Mississippians live happier, healthier lives!

Greens are a Southern tradition, found on most lunch special menus throughout Mississippi. There are many types of greens, but the most popular greens in our state are collards, mustard, turnips, Swiss chard, kale, and spinach. Kale and spinach can be enjoyed raw or cooked. These plants grow well in Mississippi and can be found year-round at grocery stores. There are many healthy and tasty ways to prepare greens, and greens are rich in nutrients!

A small bunch of leafy greens.

Grow

  • Greens are cool-season vegetables, which means they grow best in Mississippi during the spring and fall.
  • Mustard greens, spinach, and turnip greens need only 2–4 inches between plants, making them great choices for container gardens.
  • For more information about growing greens in Mississippi, pick up a Garden Tabloid at your local Extension office.

Select

  • One pound of fresh greens cooks down to about one or two cups.
  • Pre-washed and packaged greens save time but cost more.
  • Pick greens with full leaves that are not wilted or spotted.
  • Don’t forget about frozen or canned greens, which may be more convenient.
  • Choose “no salt added” or “reduced sodium,” and avoid “seasoned” canned greens when possible to limit salt intake.

Prepare

  • Remove any wilted or yellow leaves before cleaning fresh greens.
  • Wash greens under cold running water or in a large bowl filled with cold water; then drain and repeat if necessary.
  • Remove hard stems; stack large leaves and roll them up; then cut into thin strips.
  • To learn more about preparing greens, visit HappyHealthy.MS and click on Tips and Videos, then Prepare Leafy Greens.

Benefit

Greens are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber but are low in calories. Eating a variety of greens can:

  • Support your immune system (being sick is never fun).
  • Help your muscles to work better (remember the heart is a muscle).
  • Protect your cells from damage (think better eyesight and healthier looking skin and hair).

Enjoy

Egg and Spinach Casserole

A square of greens casserole with cheese melted on top.

  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon shredded cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash your hands well with soap and hot water.
  3. Thaw the spinach in the microwave or under cool running water.
  4. Put the spinach in a strainer in the sink. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can.
  5. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Stir the eggs with a fork until they are all bright yellow.
  6. Add the cheese, onion powder, salt, and black pepper to the eggs. Stir until all the ingredients are mixed together well.
  7. Spray a medium-sized baking dish or a pan with high sides with nonstick cooking spray. The pan should be about 8 inches square. Make a light coating.
  8. Spread the dry spinach in the bottom of the baking dish. Make an even layer.
  9. Pour egg mixture over the spinach.
  10. Stir gently to make sure the spinach is still spread evenly in the pan.
  11. Put the pan in the oven. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the eggs are done and the top is lightly browned.
  12. Cut the casserole into 6 even pieces. Serve the casserole while it is hot.
  13. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Slow-Cooked Southern Greens

A bowl of cooked greens.

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small white onion, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 smoked turkey wing
  • 1 bunch of greens (turnip, collard, or mustard)
  • 1 32-ounce container of low-sodium chicken broth
  1. Wash your hands well with soap and hot water.
  2. Put the greens in a large bowl and run water over them to wash away any dirt or grit. If greens are still dirty, repeat this step. Tear or cut off the stems. Cut the leaves into strips about 2 inches wide.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat or in a slow-cooker set on high.
  4. Add the onion to the pot. Cook the onion until it looks clear and is starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the black pepper and the smoked turkey wing to the pot. Stir to coat the onion with black pepper.
  6. Add the greens in 3 or 4 handfuls. After each handful, stir to coat the greens with onion, pepper, and oil.
  7. After all the greens are added to the pot, add the chicken broth.
  8. Put a lid on the pot. Cook on low until the greens are tender, about 2–3 hours.
  9. Add shredded meat from the turkey wing (optional).
  10. Serve the greens while they are hot.
  11. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Visit the HappyHealthy website.


Publication 3411 (01-20)

By Samantha Willcutt, Regional Registered Dietitian, Extension Northeast Region.

Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution.

Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture. Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director

Department: Ctr Fam & Comm Nutrition

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Authors

Portrait of Dr. Sylvia H. Byrd
Professor & Project Director
Professor, Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion Project Director, Office of Nutrition E
Portrait of Ms. Samantha Ann Willcutt
Regional Registered Dietitian
Nutrition