Olivia sells an organic sauté blend that includes baby spinach, kale, mustard greens, and chard. I'm wondering - is this as healthy as buying each individually?
It saves a lot of work but I've read that those pre-washed packages can be a few weeks old.
Is the non-packaged stuff fresher?
Is there a difference between the packaged baby greens and the others?
Oh most definitely the non-bagged is fresher. The date of farmers market veg is how it physically looks to you when you handle, not by a date stamp. Also, the pre-cut stuff more than likely traveled hundres of miles before finding their new home on a store-shelf. Less chance that those items were allowed to ripen and grow naturally
In general, veg starts losing nutrients as soon as they're harvested. I'm not sure about greens but the rule of "bigger isn't always better", like with tomatoes and peppers may apply. Like, plants have a finite amount of nutrients they can pass on to their fruit, so if the produce is smaller, then its level of nutrients will be more concentrated.
I prefer my veg whole and take great satisfaction how of the entire preparation process, but in a pinch? Sure - grab a bag or 9.
IMO, the best option is always farmer's markets and locally grown produce. I personally think whole uncut heads of leaf lettuce, for example, are preferable to bags of cut lettuce. I do occasionally buy the "spring mix" bags of mixed baby greens to supplement my leaf lettuce. Since the baby leaves are not chopped, they are less damaged.
My perception is that younger leaves provide better nutrition as older leaves are more fibrous. I've noticed that once the bag is opened, though, the bagged baby greens go bad faster than my heads of leaf lettuce.
Nothing beats mesclun straight from the garden- you can seed a planter and get a few cuts of super fresh lettuce at home if you have a deck or patio or even a sunny window. I love the taste of fresh baby greens and add them to head or romaine lettuce salads.
I buy the Olivias spring mix all the time...You can save the clamshell container it comes in, too and wintersow in it :-)
It's delish and it makes having a salad super easy and affordable...And they're based in Mass, which is an hour from me...Oh, and they give of their profits to charity...Love them <3
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