These foods are classified as bitter in Chinese Dietary Therapy. Bitter foods have the ability to cool heat in the body and to dry dampness. They are cleansing for the liver, helpful for weight loss, and very good for inflammation and heart health.
Use kale, collard greens, escarole, bok choy, dandelion greens, Chinese cabbage, turnip greens, swiss chard, watercress, bok choy, mustard greens, carrot tops, parsley, and rapini. These vegetables are too coarse and fibrous to eat raw and will cause digestive issues. Please cook them. I do not recommend juicing greens.
It’s best to keep it simple with greens. Steam for 6-10 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon, lime, or vinegar. After the greens are cooked you can toss with unpasteurized sauerkraut and/or sprouts and microgreens.
Or you can add sliced roasted red pepper and/or artichokes and toss with a few black olives and goat or sheep feta cheese, or vegan cheese. You can cool the steamed greens (by running under cold water) and put on top of salad greens with sliced red onion. Add a few strawberries, blueberries, and mango slices, and your favorite raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
Sauté chopped greens with onions, garlic, crushed red pepper, and other vegetables in a little oil. Add a small amount of water, a little soy sauce or salt and pepper, cover and cook about 10 minutes. Crushed tomatoes and white beans are a nice addition. Simmer 20 minutes with the tomatoes. Or, use a vegetable bouillon instead of tomatoes.
A simple sauce to serve over greens
3 bunches of scallions or diced onions or leeks
olive oil or sesame oil
Fresh grated ginger
2TB. Kuzu or arrowroot (to thicken)
2TB. wheat-free Soy sauce
2 cups Water (or vegetable bouillon)
- Heat oil and add sliced scallions, garlic, and ginger.
- Sauté a few minutes and add 2 cups water (or bouillon). Simmer 10 minutes.
- Add soy sauce and kuzu or arrowroot that has been diluted in small amount of cold water and simmer and stir until thickened — about 3-4 minutes.
- Mushrooms are a nice addition. Add them with scallions, garlic, and ginger.
- You can also add any herbs that you like.
- This is similar to a Chinese brown sauce.
- Serve over greens, rice, pasta, or any other vegetable.
You can also add leafy greens to soups, stews, pasta dishes and other vegetable dishes. They are very nutritious and you’ll benefit by eating them daily.