How Clean Are Your Greens?

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Your mother always said to eat your greens, but in order to get the most health benefits you can, you need to be sure that you identify, purchase and clean the right greens. Knowing which greens to purchase depends on how you feel about foods that are sprayed with fungicides and chemicals, or organic foods that are grown using healthier alternatives.

No matter which way you go, cleaning your greens properly is important. At the very least, you will need to clean off any loose soil left on the leaves or stems. Many grocery stores sell greens in bags where they have been pre-washed. You usually need to use these quickly as they wilt more quickly. Even if the package says the greens are pre-washed, it's best to be cautious and rewash them anyway.

How to Clean Greens

First, cut off the unwanted part of your greens, either the head or the stem. Then, you'll need to separate the leaves. Depending on how much time you really want to spend, you can individually clean each piece of lettuce by running it under cold water or swishing it in a bowl of cold water.

Otherwise you can place all of the leaves in a bowl of cold water, swishing them around for a few seconds. Let them sit in the bowl for a minute and you will begin to notice that the sand and dirt has sunk to the bottom of the bowl.

Take each piece of leaf out one at a time, gently shaking the water off and laying them on a piece of paper toweling or a clean, cloth towel. Blot the leaves dry.