Get The Most Out of Your Baby Greens from Backyard Eats
Harvesting Baby Greens
- Harvest when the leaves are at least 3″ tall.
- Cut leaves about 2″ above the soil. Use a sharp, serrated knife or pair of scissors.
- Leave some portions of leaves to allow the plant to re-grow from that point.
- Grab a handful of leaves from the top, and bend them back to cut as close to the leaf stem as possible. That way you can throw a handful of cut leaves right into the salad spinner without any additional work!
Add a burst of flavor and nutrition to your meals with Baby Greens, a versatile crop that thrives in raised bed gardens. “Baby greens” is a term used to describe young and tender salad greens that are harvested before they reach full maturity. They have a fresh, slightly sweet taste and a tender texture that is milder than their mature counterparts. When it comes to cooking, baby greens are often used raw in salads or as a bed for other dishes such as grilled chicken or fish.
Growing Baby Greens
Growing baby greens involves planting fast-growing young vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, and harvesting them when they’re still small. One benefit of growing baby greens in a raised bed is improved drainage and warmer soil temperatures, allowing for earlier planting in the spring and a longer growing season in the fall. Baby greens can sprout within 7-14 days and typically reach maturity for harvest within 20-30 days.
Baby greens can be harvested multiple times throughout the growing season, making them a great option for those who want a continuous supply of fresh greens.
Varieties of Baby Greens:
Baby Arugula | Baby Kale Mix | Baby Lettuce Mix | Baby Spinach Mix | Brassica Greens Mix | Spicy Greens Mix
Storing Baby Greens
Storing baby greens properly is important to maintain their quality and flavor. Store-bought baby greens tend to deteriorate within a week of refrigeration, whereas homegrown greens can be harvested and stored fresh, and last much longer. Here’s how to store baby greens for maximum freshness:
- Wash the greens thoroughly with cold water
- Dry them with a clean towel or salad spinner
- Wrap them in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
This is the optimal way to store baby greens, and will keep them fresh for up to a month when homegrown and stored with care. Less intensive storage methods will suffice, but yield shorter storage life.
Cooking With Baby Greens
These tender greens are packed with flavor and nutrition, and can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some of our favorite methods:
- Sandwiches and wraps: Add a handful of baby lettuce mix or baby spinach mix to your favorite sandwich or wrap for an extra pop of flavor and nutrition.
- Smoothies and juices: Blend baby kale mix or baby spinach mix into your morning smoothie or green juice for a nutritious boost.
- Salads: Create a refreshing salad with baby arugula, baby lettuce mix, or spicy greens mix, topped with your favorite fruits, nuts, and dressings.
- Soups and stews: Add brassica greens mix or baby kale mix to your favorite soup or stew for added nutrition and flavor.
- Tacos and burritos: Use baby lettuce mix or spicy greens mix as a base for your favorite tacos or burritos, topped with avocado, salsa, and protein of your choice.
- Pizza and flatbreads: Top your pizza or flatbread with baby spinach mix or baby arugula for a fresh and flavorful twist.
- Pasta dishes: Toss baby kale mix or baby spinach mix with your favorite pasta, topped with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Stir-fries: Stir-fry brassica greens mix or spicy greens mix with your favorite vegetables and protein for a healthy and flavorful meal.
- Frittatas and omelets: Add baby arugula or baby spinach mix to your favorite frittata or omelet for an extra boost of nutrients and flavor.
- Grain bowls: Create a healthy and flavorful grain bowl with a base of baby lettuce mix, topped with roasted vegetables, protein, and your favorite dressing.