How do I incorporate frozen dark greens (collards, kale & mustard greens) in standard recipes? Is defrosting or cooking in the microwave and then squeezing the water out a healthy option?Where do I “season to taste” unprocessed frozen vegetables using the microwave?
Several factors might determine how you would incorporate frozen dark greens into recipes, and it would likely depend on what the recipe is for. If the recipe calls for fresh, but you would like to use frozen, you could cook the greens and add towards the end of the recipe so that they don’t overcook. Alternatively, there may be a point in the recipe at which you could add the frozen greens and cook them as part of the dish, paying attention to the cooking time needed for the greens, and any increase or decrease that might need to be made to the fluids in the recipe. If you would just like to incorporate greens to a recipe that does not call for them, the same guidelines would apply.
Cooking the greens in the microwave is definitely a healthy option. Generally, instructions for cooking frozen vegetables in the microwave are on the package. Most frozen vegetables can be cooked from the frozen state, using very minimal amounts of, and sometimes no water. The vegetables can then be drained in a strainer, or squeezed if any excess water would alter the finished product. This liquid can be saved and used for soups, casseroles, and other uses, if desired.
Seasoning vegetables cooked in the microwave would depend on how you plan to season them. If you are using herbs or pepper, seasoning is probably best after cooking and draining the vegetable. Some seasonings could be added during cooking. When cooking frozen greens in the microwave, stirring during cooking is usually necessary to assure that the vegetable is cooked evenly. Seasonings such as garlic and onion could be stirred in at this point. Be sure to look for other useful cooking tips in the tips section of our web site.