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Cooperative Extension: Maine Harvest for Hunger

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Choosing, Storing & Using Fresh Produce - Greens


Spinach, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens

Choose: Crisp leaves with a good green color and fresh odor. 1 pound of fresh greens will cook down to 1 cup, about 2 servings.

Store: Greens should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and are best if used within 3 days.

How to use: Wash well to remove grit and sand. For a delicious side dish steam greens in a saucepan for 2 minutes using just the water that clings to the leaves. Small beets are usually left attached to beet greens and will take 10 – 12 minutes to cook. Greens can also be added to stir-fries and soups. Spinach and young Swiss chard can also be eaten raw. Add to tossed salads for extra color.


For more recipes and nutrition and preparation information, see Beet Greens, Bulletin #4252 (part of UMaine Extension’s Vegetables and Fruits for Health series) and Facts on Edible Wild Greens in Maine, Bulletin #4060.

To learn how to preserve greens, see Let’s Preserve Leafy Greens, Bulletin #4040. Contains recipes.


Image Description: spinach; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDA

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University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Maine Harvest for Hunger
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188 or 1.800.287.0274 (in Maine)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System