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Nov 22

Balance Heavy Holiday Meals with Bitter Dark Leafy Greens

 
Bitter Greens such as kales, collard greens, arugula, mustard greens, and dandelion greens, are not only amazing nutritional powerhouses, but they greatly aid digestion, reduce sugar cravings, help metabolize fats, and work many other magical, healing effects on the human body.
 
Half a plateful of steaming kale is what I believe is missing alongside our proteins, carbohydrates, and good fats everyday in this modern world…especially alongside rich holiday meals, and definitely alongside restaurant meals. Rural Asian and Indian people eat copious amounts of bitter greens daily compared to most modern people, and they experience vital health late into life.
 
Bitter greens help cleanse and tonify (strengthen) the liver and gallbladder by pushing bile out of the gallbladder and into the stomach. This action aids in the digestion of fats and proteins, especially high-purine proteins like meats. Bitter greens also act as a gentle diuretic to purify the blood and thusly cleanse the entire body, which often leads to weight loss, clearer skin, normal bowel function, and lower blood pressure. Along with all these super-star effects, bitter greens also provide us with a wide scope of bio-available minerals (especially iron), they help lower our serum cholesterol, and they greatly reduce acid indigestion and gas buildup. Wow!
 
Holiday CookingLIST OF BITTER GREENS
All Kales & broccoli family dark leafy greens (always cook at least lightly)
Amaranth greens
Arugula
Beet Greens, Spinach, & Swiss Chard (always eat raw instead of cooked)
Endive
Broccoli Rabe
Dandelion Greens
Escarole
Frisée
Mizuna
Mustard Greens
Turnip & Radish Greens
Nettles
Radicchio
Rapini
Rucola
Tatsoi
Watercress
 
To counter the bitter taste, try lightly sautéing greens with a small amount of salt and good fat. Adding sea salt and high quality oil when cooking reduces bitterness, enhances digestibility, and even releases nutrients for easy absorption. Also, the sweet flavor balances the bitter flavor, so serve them mixed with bite size pieces of cooked carrot, yam or winter squash…see “Steamed Veggies & Dark Leafy Greens” recipe below…
 
RECIPE: Steamed Veggies & Dark Leafy Greens

In a deep, medium sized stainless steel saucepan, place a fitting steamer basket and about 2 cups of water in the bottom. Wash and slice about 2 cups of any sweet veggies like carrot, yam, fennel bulb, or winter squash into 1/4 inch pieces. Place the sweet veggies in the bottom of the steamer basket, and steam for about 3 minutes until almost tender. Next, add about 2 cups any medium-dense veggies like broccoli, fresh green bean, bok choy, or cauliflower, etc. and steam for another 2 minutes. Lastly, stuff big handfuls of washed & chopped kale, collards, or any cruciferous greens on top of the other veggies, cover again, and steam for another minute. Uncover to make sure all greens are slightly wilted and wet-looking. Steam another 30 seconds if not. Remove lid immediately, and carefully (so you don’t burn your hands with the steam) turn all the veggies out onto a plate. Drizzle everything with lemon juice and a high-quality virgin olive oil. Voila!
 
After you eat this with your heavy holiday meals, or with your daily meats or eggs, or with your brown rice/beans/avocado, you’ll feel invincible all year long!
 
Here’s some salad dressing ideas which are great for bitter greens which should be eaten raw due to the oxalic acid content like spinach, beet greens, & Swiss chard.
 
Sweet Fennel Salad…2 cups each: chopped celery, grated carrot, and sliced fennel bulb. Add 3 cups each chopped arugula and spinach, and toss.
 
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing…3Tbsp olive oil, 3Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2Tbsp lemon juice, and 1tsp grade B maple syrup or raw honey.
 
Italian Salad Dressing…Making this dressing is so simple – it just depends on your preference for each ingredient. You can make it extra lemony or extra herby if you like.
 
Here’s the basics: 3Tbsp good quality virgin olive oil, 1Tbsp lemon juice OR raw apple cider vinegar and finely minced fresh herbs of choice (marjoram, sage, rosemary, parsley, dill, fennel, etc).
 
Good Quality, Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled over salad with a squeeze of Meyer Lemon Juice is simple & tastes fantastic!
For a No-Sugar, but Pleasantly Sweet Dressing…3Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar, and 5 drops Nu Naturals brand vanilla stevia.
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cookwell portraitCourtney Coleman loves to show people how to cook with whole foods for health & happiness. She can teach you how to prepare amazingly tasty, whole foods snacks & meals with plenty of proteins, good fats & minerals according to the ancient principles of Macrobiotics & Ayurvedic cooking. Everyone has a unique body type, and Courtney helps people tune in to what foods are best for personal balance of mind, body & spirit. Courtney will come to your home anywhere in SLO County to teach you privately, your group of friends, or kid’s classes!

Website: www.cookwell.org

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