vegetable greens

Quick Tip: Using Vegetable Greens From Your Garden

Do you have lots of vegetable greens in your garden? Not sure what to do with them? Here are ways you can use them, including getting children to eat them.

It’s easy to have too many vegetable greens in the garden. They tend to be quite prolific and keeping them picked encourages even more growth!

Having a good variety of greens helps to bring variety to your diet. Some greens such as rainbow chard are also quite ornamental and could be used in edible landscaping.

So what do you do if you have too many greens? Knowing what greens you can eat and what to make from them is important as well as trying new ways to enjoy them.

Why Vegetable Greens?

They are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Here are a few examples using the technique I covered in  How to Use Google Search for Gardening Information:

Kale info

Chard info


Spinach info

Growing Vegetable Greens

Vegetable greens usually grow all year through and you will likely still have some in the garden in fall and winter if your winters are mild like the ones we typically have here in Victoria, BC.

If you do have cold winters, you can usually protect your greens with plastic poly tunnels or row cover and still harvest them.

Note: greens absorb anything sprayed onto them. Best if you can grow them yourself – if not, consider buying organic or non-sprayed greens.

Vegetable Greens You can Eat

You likely will be familiar with vegetables that are grown solely for greens. However other vegetables also have tasty greens you can eat.

Here is a list of greens we have in the garden and that we regularly eat. The ones with a * are usually grown primarily for the non-greens part but you can also eat the greens or tender growing tips as a bonus.

  • beets*
  • broccoli*
  • celery*
  • chinese cabbage
  • cauliflower*
  • chard
  • fava beans*
  • kale
  • kohlrabi*
  • leeks* – don’t eat just the white parts!
  • mustards
  • pac choi
  • peas*
  • radish* – includes diakon
  • spinach
  • sweet potato*
  • turnips*

Using Vegetable Greens

Here are some ways to use those greens. The ways with a * are especially great in that they hide the greens (usually by covering them with something else) so that children will eat them, in case they are picky about eating greens.

  • Braised
  • Casseroles*
  • Chili*
  • Frittata*
  • Kale Chips
  • Meatballs*
  • Pasta Sauce*
  • (Savory) Pies*
  • Pizza*
  • Salads
  • Saute
  • Smoothies
  • Soup* – puree to hide the greens, doesn’t always work, but give it a try
  • Steamed
  • Stirfry
  • Wraps

Health note: You need to know what your digestive system can handle. If you have a digestive condition, you may not tolerate eating raw greens or even cooked greens well. So if you are planning on introducing lots of greens into your diet, start slow and seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner if needed.



So consider not only growing greens in your garden but also using unconventional ways to prepare them. The skys the limit in terms of what you can make with them. And you can be clever in hiding the greens so that your kids will eat them. 😁

Do you have any other greens that you enjoy eating? Do you have any other ways to cook greens? Share in the comments.

Happy growing and cooking with greens!

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  1. Enjoyed this post. You make some good suggestions here Mark. I regularly use greens in my breakfast smoothies and you’ve just added some that I hadn’t thought of using before. It was interesting to see the Google tip in action too.
    I definitely agree with your health tip. I use mainly cooked vegetables in my smoothies because my digestion can’t handle a lot of raw food. You can use left over vegetables cooked the night before, or just lightly steam and quickly cool the greens just before you use them.

    1. Thanks Lyn for your comment. I don’t like ice-cold smoothies and since I use frozen fruit (except in late summer when our fruit is ripe), I add half very hot water from the kettle first and then the rest cold water. This helps to steam the greens a bit.

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