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Fresh This Week Tips 02.16.2011

COLLARD GREENS

STORE: Collards store better than most greens. Wrap unwashed leaves in moist paper towels and place in sealed plastic bag. They will stay fresh for 4-5 days in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. When ready to use wash thoroughly.

PREP: Wash collard greens in several changes of cool water to remove all dirt and grit. Remove the tough stems and central vein as well. Collard greens are tough and depending on the maturity of the leaves, may require 20 minutes to one hour of cooking time.

USE: Steam, add to soups or sauté these flavorful green leaves. For an easy side dish devein and saute the leaves in a splash of olive oil, crushed garlic (1 clove per bunch), salt and squeeze the juice of one lemon at the end. The leaves turn dark green during this long cooking process (20 min), and the cooking water will be greatly reduced. Unfortunately, nutrients are leached out into the cooking liquid that many people pour down the drain. This cooking liquid or “pot likker,” as it is called in Southern states, is full on valuable nutrients. Save it to add to soups or soak it up with a piece of hot cornbread.

MANGOES

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STORE: Keep your mangoes in a plastic or paper bag in the cupboard. A ripe mango will yield to gentle pressure. Once ripe, refrigerate for up to 1 week.

PREP: Using a sharp knife, slice around the stone. Cut a checkered pattern onto the cut mango. Flip the skin inside out and slice the cubes into a bowl.

USE: They can be eaten whole or used in desserts and curries. For a delicious morning treat, enjoy a mango smoothie: a combination of diced mango, a banana, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 cup of orange juice and ice cubes. Blend till frothy!

CAULIFLOWER

STORE: Store cauliflower for up to one week in your crisper covered by a plastic or paper bag.

PREP: Keep whole and chop off ¼ inch off the stem or cut the head into bite-sized florets.

USE: Steam, roast, bake or stir fry cauliflower. Be careful not to overcook!  For a simple cauliflower recipe please visit: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/simple-cauliflower-recipe.html