Mustard Greens

If collard greens or kale are your normal go-to greens, then a switch to mustard greens might be in order. I enjoy the hearty taste of collard greens and often serve them with rice, pasta or sweet potatoes. I grow collards in the summer and look forward to picking fresh collard greens in early fall and at the first frost. Occasionally, I grow turnip greens and enjoy them fresh from the garden, but I have never grown mustard greens or ate them until I was recently introduced to them. When I asked how to prepare them, I was told to combine them with turnip greens for a delicious flavor. Mustard greens are nutrient dense, low calorie, rich in antioxidants, contain insoluble fiber and are enjoyed in many parts of the world. Mustard greens are in the same family as kale, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Different varieties and types of mustard green are found in many parts of the world. Sulfur containing antioxidant nutrients known as glucosinolate and sulforaphenes prevent free radical damage to cells thereby protecting the body from inflammatory damage. These nutrients provide anti-inflammatory protection for the brain and eyes. Mustard greens are also rich in insoluble fiber that helps reduce low density lipoprotein (LDL) and cholesterol. Other nutrients found in mustard greens include vitamins A, E, C, K, folate and the minerals calcium, iron, potassium, manganese and selenium. Similar to other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, collard greens and turnip greens, chlorophyll in the mustard greens is considered to have important anti-cancer properties. When finely chopped and combined with turnip greens, red bell peppers, onions, garlic and smoked turkey tails or necks, the bitterness of the greens is not as obvious and the result is a delicious peppery and satisfying dish.