About Mustard Greens

November 7, 2011

About Mustard Greens

The bright, spicy leaves of the mustard plant, Brassica juncea, will make your fall dishes come to life with zest! These green or purple leaves are either flat, or crumpled with scalloped edges, or curly with frilled edges. From the plant also come small dark mustard seeds, which can be used to make mustard or to spice up other dishes.

Originally cultivated in India, in the Himalayan region, mustard greens are now grown all over the world. They are used Italian, Indian, African, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines and in American “soul food” in the Southern United States. In the South, mustard greens, along with collard and turnip greens, are often cooked with ham hocks, leaving a revered, salty green juice in the pot known as “potlikker.” Like the greens themselves, this liquid contains is high in iron, and vitamins C and K.

Like other dark, leafy greens, mustard greens are believed to lower cholesterol as they bind bile acids during digestions. This action helps eliminate such acids, which are made from cholesterol, from the body. Studies show that the bile-binding action is higher when steamed greens eaten rather than raw greens.

Eat mustard greens raw—ouch!—or add them to salad mixes for some extra spice. They can also be stir-fried or steamed. Try them one of these cold days and warm yourself up!

Curly mustard greens

2 Responses to “About Mustard Greens”

  1. Philippe Says:

    In our experience, they are better cooked.

  2. Bettina Walker Says:

    Just a quick question I should have asked on Tuesday at CSA, but I neglected to. Are the stalks of the mustard greens ok to be chopped and cooked or eaten like celery in soup or salad? Thanks!

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