Eat your greens and love them!

Kale, collard greens, mustard greens, bok choi, all members of the cruciferous family of vegetables. I confess, while we might be in the height of summer and watching more and more produce become available, I still regularly eat them even though I can find them at the farmer’s market year-round.

source used under Creative Commons.

These greens are incredibly nutritious. High in vitamins like K and D as well as calcium, they are certainly a beneficial addition to any diet. In the correct preparation, that is.

Green smoothies are currently popular, where the various greens are blended together raw. While these vegetables do have a lot of good properties, in their raw state they are packed with oxalates and goitrogenic. Oxalates can cause kidney stones and goitrogens inhibit the thyroid. Not exactly something you want to consume to improve your health. These are foods which should be cooked in order to gain the most benefit from them.

“But Soli,” I hear some of you say, “they don’t taste very good. They’re bitter!”

Yes, I know. It took me some time to learn how to properly prepare and season greens to make them more palatable. But once you learn how to cook them up well, you’ll be eating them on a regular basis. I promise you.

There are two big keys to making tasty greens.

1. Cook them in a good fat.

Foods which are high in fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin D, need to be served with healthy fats in order for the body to properly utilize them. Healthy and tasty fats, in fact. Use butter, olive oil, (non-hydrogenated) lard, tallow, duck fat, or other fats our bodies can digest properly. The southern tradition of collard greens and ham hock is a perfect example of people in the past knowing how best to make up their food.

2. The big taste secret: acid.

It’s not easy to counteract the taste of anything bitter. It sticks with you, it lingers. This makes it very difficult for people to willingly eat bitter but nutritious foods. You need a contrast to that bitter flavor. And it’s very likely you have that very ingredient in your kitchen already.

A fairly popular bottle in my house.

Vinegar. Beautiful, delicious vinegar. A good balsamic or apple cider vinegar provides the perfect contrast to the greens and brings out a flavor you may not have been aware they were capable of having.
I promise you, follow the following directions and you’re going to have very little in the way of leftovers the next time you serve greens!

Basic sauteed greens

Greens, however many you need to serve at the meal.
Healthy fat. I prefer butter or duck fat for cooking greens.
Quality vinegar

Sharp knife
Saute pan
Spatula or metal spoon


1. Rinse greens. Remove stem and chop leaves into small pieces

2. Heat fat/oil on medium-high heat in pan.

3. When fat is melted, put large portion of greens (as much as will fit without overflowing) into pan.

4. Stir regularly as they cook down. When they reduce in size, add any additional raw greens to pan.

5. Cook down greens, stirring regularly.

6. Either portion on to plates or place in serving dish. Garnish with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. Don’t worry about skimping. Definitely sample before you serve, if you’re not used to preparing them in this way.

7. Serve and Happy Eating!!

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I’m sharing this post at Monday Mania, Make your own Monday, Traditional Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Simple Lives Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, and Fight Back Friday!

11 responses to “Eat your greens and love them!

  1. I guess this explains why oil and vinegar dressing is especially delicious on greens!

  2. A Table in the Sun

    Kale just keeps producing here in my garden…WOW! Yes, I agree that acid is key. I’m learning that this principal is important in every area of cooking. Good job informing readers about kale.

  3. It’s been hard for me to like kale, but I’m doing better with it. I recently had Chinese spinach, which *cannot* be consumed raw, the farmer told me. Okay by me! It was delicious! And Soli, I’d be curious to see what you think of my latest blog post:D

  4. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Eat Your Greens and Love Them! « Shadows of the Sun

  6. Kale is very good cooked in chicken soup. My husband loves when we have leftover roast chicken. I break it down and usually chop kale, celery
    and carrots and put them in. I add a touch of coconut oil to the soup to help the kale. Garlic and a little cayenne pepper finish it off!

  7. Pingback: Friday Reviews: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead | I Believe In Butter

  8. Pingback: Kareful with Kale - Simply Living Simply

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