There is no question about it that dark, bitter greens are good for your health overall. In addition to harboring plenty of fiber, these bright beauties are packed with both magnesium and calcium to help you maintain strong bones. They also happen to contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin E, both which work hard to fight off cancer.
Bitter greens are also known to support liver health so that it can do an optimal job with ease. But if you’re like most people, you probably don’t appreciate the flavor of bitter greens quite as much as you appreciate their impressive health benefits. In fact, you may even avoid them in favor of lighter tasting greens like red leaf and romaine.
Luckily, you don’t have to suffer every time you chew on a mouthful of bitter greens. In fact, you can even learn to love them. Increase your nutrient intake, fill yourself up with fiber, and get around all the bitterness in the following greens with the help of these tips and tricks:
Dandelion greens are loaded with vitamin K which keeps your bones stay strong, and may even help to fight off Alzheimer’s disease as you age. They also happen to be a bit bitter, even when they are covered with salad dressing (or you can use them to make salad dressing). To lighten up their flavor, simmer your dandelions with a diced tomato in a little veggie broth before serving. Alternatively, you can marinade them in the broth and dehydrate them to keep them raw. They’ll be rich, aromatic, and comforting once they hit your plate.
Where do you get your calcium? If you aren’t getting it from collard greens, you are missing out. Collard leaves make excellent wraps for veggies and hummus, although their bitter flavor takes a little getting used to. If you want to enjoy collards as wraps without the bitterness, try soaking them in a blended mixture of one part dates to one part lemon juice for a few minutes before using them.
Otherwise, steaming the collards for a mere five minutes will soften them up and get them ready to be covered with a savory sauce. You can also mince the greens very finely and soak them in a mixture of Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar to create a zingy salad.
Thanks to the high levels of nitrate found in arugula, this bitter green can help to keep your blood pressure in check. Arugula is also a good source of chlorophyll, which is known to protect your cells from carcinogens. To lessen the bitter load of arugula, marinade the greens in a mixture of coconut oil and lemon juice for at least 30 minutes. Massage the arugula greens with your hands every few minutes to deepen the wilting process. When they’re ready, your wilted greens will be fresh, tangy, and full of flavor!
This leafy green looks like a cross between Chinese cabbage and lettuce, and offers a satisfying crunch – but its bitterness can get in the way of complete enjoyment if you aren’t used to it. It’s easy to get rid of the bitter here though. Once you have your endive chopped up, drizzle it with a little olive oil and bake or dehydrate it for a few minutes just until the endive starts to soften. Voila! You have a seriously delicious side dish.
There you have it, a variety of fool-proof ways to enjoy the healthful bitter greens that you decide to add to your diet. Enjoy!
Lead Image Source: Sauteed Beet Red Greens