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Jan 25, 2014 09:06 AM

GREENS! - need tips for quickly cleaning and de-stemming

I love fresh turnip, collard or mustard greens but HATE how long it takes to clean and de-stem them, especially when trying to do this for many bunches. Does anyone have any tips or know any products available that make this job easier and faster? (please don't say washing machine......never again will I try that)

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  1. With whole leaves, I fill up my second sink with cold water, swish them in it for a few seconds. Then let the dirt settle. Drain, lifting greens out. Repeat until water is clean. To destem, I just fold the leaf in half lengthwise, and rip out the stems. Or you could stack quite a few that are similar size, lay flat and cut through all leaves to cut stem out. Not sure there is a faster way.

    With greens that are already chopped, I put in a large colander that spans across the sink, and spray them with cold water from the faucet. Usually only have to do this once, chopped greens are not as dirty.

    1. Add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to a large pot,sink,or plastic 5 gallon bucket of cool water. Swish the green around , let dirt settle to bottom. Rinse...repeat as needed... We do this with greens from our garden out back with an outdoor sink . The sandy water is just dumped on the lawn, not into the plumbing!

      11 Replies
        1. re: magiesmom

          Baking soda (and vinegar and salt) have anti biotic properties.

          1. re: Alan408

            But why do greens need antibiotics?

            1. re: magiesmom

              Anti biotic kills "germs"

              I don't use them but have read about using baking soda, salt and vinegar as a substitute to commercially available vegetable washes/rinses

              1. re: Alan408

                I know, but what germs are you concerned about on greens.
                I have never used any kind of washes, just seems like a marketing gimmick.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  I was answering your question

                  Why so confrontational ?

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    If you are buying greens from the grocery store, and they aren't organic, they could certainly be covered with pesticides/etc.

                    I don't use baking soda personally...but then I mostly buy organic greens from my farmers market.

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      Baking soda (and vinegar and salt) have anti biotic properties. they bare not antibiotics.
                      if you follow the news there have been many recalls of greens due to e coli contamination. is it likely, no. is it possible, sure.
                      you might want to read this on benefits of using vinegar and limitations.
                      i perspnally just rince with water though i do have a spray bottle of vinegar water.

                  2. re: magiesmom

                    Somehow it helps release the soil from the leaves, a cleanser..Probably has to do with molecular bonding and electrons attractions. I tried using powdered laundry detergent but the flavor was off.....J/K

                2. Cleaning is relatively quick/easy in sink with lots of water... changed a few times... as Dirty stated. De-stemming... can't think of a way to make it less tedious??

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kseiverd

                    I no longer make greens, as nobody in my house likes them, but I used to fill the sink, rinse, then reach under and let the water out.

                    Repeat until I could no longer feel sand or grit on the bottom of the sink.

                    Kinda low-tech, but never had gritty greens, either.

                  2. Too bad about the washing machine. Works great around here

                    1. Hmmmmm, never heard about using baking soda. Bad thing is, I have double sink but they are small so it's very time consuming to clean a lot of greens. Even considered getting a laundry screen (like for drying sweaters over bathtub) and putting greens in big laundry bag so I could spray them and get them all clean more quickly, without having to drain, rinse, repeat, and all that jazz. Maybe I need to invent a greens blaster, lol.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LeeLee2013

                        No rinse, repeat. Just fill the sink with cold water, let them soak, pull them out. Either spin them in a spinner or stick them in the fridge wrapped in a towel.
                        Unless you are doing a bushel it doesn't seem like so much work.