Posted by Jonathan Landsman on 3/3/2020 to
In one of my recent posts, I told you all about three greens that are actually more nutritious than kale. However, some people have trouble enjoying kale and some other bitter greens because they think you have to eat them raw in salads in order to experience their full benefits.
But cooked greens actually release more nutrients than raw greens. In fact, all the cruciferous vegetables, form a compound called indole that actually “kills precancerous cells before they become malignant” as researchers discovered in 2001.
However, there is another powerful anticancer phytonutrient in cruciferous vegetables called myrosinase, which is actually destroyed by heat. So, eating vegetables a variety of ways would seem best in order to expose us to the widest array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
The value of different cooking methods and techniques
As researcher Leslie Beck notes: No one cooking method will preserve 100 per cent of the nutrients and protective phytochemicals in vegetables. So, don't limit yourself to one cooking method or eating only salad.
Eat your vegetables roasted, grilled, steamed, boiled in a soup and raw. Enjoy them fresh (locally grown when possible) or frozen, as a last resort. The more variety you have, the more likely you are to eat them. And that's the whole point.
So, I thought it might be nice to give you some recipes that make any kind of nutritious bitter greens taste absolutely heavenly and tell you some cooking tricks and add-ons that make them taste like (healthy) gourmet-style dishes.
Basic ways to improve the taste of healthy bitter greens
Greens like Swiss chard, beet greens, collard greens, watercress, mustard greens, endive, turnip greens, and dandelion greens taste wonderful when you sauté or simmer them with ingredients like:
Grass-fed butter or extra virgin olive oil: Healthy fats help you absorb your fat-soluble vitamins from these greens such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Onions and garlic: This duo tastes wonderful when sautéed with any of these greens.
Ginger: makes greens taste delicious!
Fresh squeezed lemon juice: Lemon juice helps cut the bitterness of healthy bitter greens and adds some much welcome vitamin C.
Apple cider vinegar: A tried and true favorite. Apple cider vinegar with the mother has endless health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and fighting diabetes, killing off harmful gut bacteria and helping to fight off the acquisition of belly fat.
Chicken broth: Of course, you should be sure the broth is from grass-fed, pasture raised chicken feet, which are the richest source of collagen on the bird! The second-best bones? Wings!)
Here are some recipes for bitter greens that make them taste amazing!
Beet greens sautéed with onion and garlic
* 1-pound organic beet greens (some stores let you buy just the beet tops)
* 1/4 cup chopped onion
* 1 large garlic clove minced
* 3/4 cup of water
* 1 tsp. organic stevia or xylitol (xylitol is great for your teeth and gums, by the way!)
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 3 Tbsps. of organic apple cider vinegar
Step One: Rinse your beet greens in filtered water. Then, use a salad spinner or colander to dry your greens. ribbons or pieces. It’s up to you whether to include the purple veins or not.
Step Two: Sauté the onions. Once the onion begins to sweat a bit, then add the garlic and sauté together four or five more minutes.
Step Three: Add water, any safe sweeteners, and the (optional) red pepper flakes. Add filtered water to the hot pan, stirring to any bits of onion or garlic that might have browned a bit (these are a big
source of flavor in all recipes - never throw out flavor like that).
Step Four: Now, bring the whole mixture to a boil.
Step Five: Add beet greens, cook until tender. Then add vinegar. Simmer from 5-15 minutes until the greens are desired tenderness. For kale, collards, or Swiss chard, this will take longer.
Mixed Greens with Pine Nuts
- Pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon apple cider white vinegar
- 6 large, pasture raised organic eggs (locally raised, if possible)
- 1/2 pound (5 cups) mixed spinach and wild arugula (or Swiss chard)
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
Step 1: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
Step 2: Bring a large saucepan of filtered water to a boil. Add the vinegar, which helps to keep the eggs together and from spreading.
Working 1 at a time, crack 3 eggs into a small bowl, then slip into the boiling water, leaving a few inches between them in the pot. Poach over low heat, with your water just bubbling, until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny - you want your yolks runny so they will spill all over the greens.
Step 3: In a large bowl, toss the greens with the oil and season with salt. Mound on plates and top with the poached eggs. Sprinkle the warm eggs on top and then take two knives and slice an “X” through the egg yolks, so all spills over the greens like a sauce. Sprinkle with pine nuts - concentrating these more upon the greens.
Sources for this article include: