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HappyHealthy Newsletter: Greens

Publication Number: P3411
View as PDF: P3411.pdf

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!


  • 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 for container gardens.
  • For more information about growing greens in Mississippi, check out the Mississippi Vegetable Gardener’s Guide.


  • One pound of fresh greens cooks down to about 1–2 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.


  • 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; then cut into thin strips.


  • 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).
  • To learn more about preparing greens, visit HappyHealthy.MS and click on Tips and Videos.
    • Prepare Leafy Greens

Egg and Spinach Casserole

  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon shredded cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  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 the 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

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small white onion, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 smoked turkey wing
  • 1 bunch greens (turnip, collard, or mustard)
  • 1 32-ounce container 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.
  3. Cut the leaves into strips about 2 inches wide.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat or in a slow-cooker set on high.
  5. Add the onion to the pot. Cook the onion until it looks clear and is starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the black pepper and the smoked turkey wing to the pot. Stir to coat the onion with black pepper.
  7. Add the greens in 3 or 4 handfuls. After each handful, stir to coat the greens with onion, pepper, and oil.
  8. After all the greens are added to the pot, add the chicken broth.
  9. Put a lid on the pot. Cook on low until the greens are tender, about 2–3 hours.
  10. Add shredded meat from the turkey wing (optional).
  11. Serve the greens while they are hot.
  12. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.





Publication 3411 (POD-10-21)

By Samantha Willcutt, Mississippi State University Extension Service.

This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Department: Nutrition Education
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Portrait of Ms. Samantha Ann Willcutt
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