Mustard greens very greatly in size, shape, color and flavor. They may be curly- or flat-edged; wrinkled surface or smooth; green, purple or red; and have a flavor from mild to spicy. They are popular as microgreens, grown indoors during winter, which means mustard greens can potentially be available all year long. If purchasing, choose mustard greens that have no blemishes or yellowing. Young, tender leaves are good for salad mixes, while mature greens are good for stir-fries, steaming or boiling.
Fun Fact: Mustard greens hail from the Himalayas and have been consumed there for more than 5,000 years.
Nutrition: A one cup serving of steamed mustard greens contains a whopping 524 percent daily value of vitamin K and 177 percent DV of vitamin A! Also, 59 percent DV of vitamin C, plus folate, manganese, dietary fiber and calcium levels are not shabby either. Mustard greens, like other cruciferous veggies, may have cholesterol-lowering, antioxidant and detoxifying properties.
As the name implies, these are the lacy-edged leaves of the same plant that produces mustard seeds. Mustard greens tend to be a little less bitter and more peppery tasting than kale or Swiss chard and come second to only kale in beta-carotene. In our bodies, beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A to bolster eye and bone health. The greens also contain an arsenal of phytonutrients called glucosinolates that can rev up detoxification enzymes to help protect the cells of our liver and other organs from all the nasties of free-radical damage.
Eat outside the bowl: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add 1 medium chopped onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook 1 minute more. Stir in 1 bunch mustard greens torn into large pieces, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil and cook until greens are slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve as quick side dish.