Go healthy with greens, fresh or frozen

Our contest winner, Donna King (right), braved the elements to share her delicious “Donna’s Greens and Cornbread.”

Cold, rainy weather put a damper on the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market October 13 Greens Cook-off and Green Tomato Festival. Our contest winner, Donna King, braved the elements to share her delicious “Donna’s Greens and Cornbread.”

Don’t let the weather fool you. Now is the perfect time of year for cooking greens. Greens like collards and kale can keep on growing and producing into December. Greens are easy to preserve in your freezer, too.

Here’s how. For collards, cut of the stalks and cut out the thick center stem. Fold the leaves and cut into bite size pieces. Heat a large pot of water on the stove to boiling. Blanche a couple big handfuls of greens in the boiling water for two minutes. Scoop out with a large slotted spoon or colander with a handle. Let drain and cool in another colander. Press out excess water (or spin it out with a salad spinner). Freeze in freezer bags.

While fresh always tastes best, the frozen greens sure taste good during those long winter months when locally grown produce is less available. Plus, your frozen greens provide you with lots of nutritional benefits. Research shows frozen vegetables have almost as much nutritional value as fresh—especially if you are buying them from a local source.