Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

“Fresh2U” Nutrition Program for Kids and Parents


Greens are the leafy parts of vegetables such as collard, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, mustard and many others that your grocer can tell you about. Greens have been eaten around the world for thousands of years. For example, broccoli is thought to have originated more than 2,000 years ago from the wild cabbage of coastal Europe. Lettuce is native to Europe and Asia and has been cultivated for 2,500 years. Spinach is considered native to Asia but has been grown in Europe since the 11th century.

In addition to tasting good, greens are low in calories, and they are fat and cholesterol free. They are also excellent sources of vitamins A and C as well as containing iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.

Fresh greens are available throughout Florida from November through May.

Wash greens thoroughly. To keep them fresh, wrap in damp paper towels and place in plastic bags. Punch a few small holes in the bags and place in the refrigerator.

Greens are often eaten raw in salads. When cooked, greens “cook down” a lot, with one pound of raw greens possibly yielding as little as two cups of greens once they are cooked. So remember to start with more greens than you will need.

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