Why are greens always ordered last ? In Ayurveda, bitter and astringent tastes are an essential addition to every meal.
Cooling in nature greens help balance any meals. Cooked greens also help body detoxification by clearing the liver. They are high in fiber content helping conditions such as constipation. The bitter taste prevents parasite and unhealthy bacteria growth.
Cooked greens, are an essential side dish for pitta and kapha constitution especially in the sping and summer months ! Vata should consume cooked greens as a side dish together with heavier, unctuous and sweet tasting food.
It is recommended to consume green leaves cooked rather than raw making them easier to digest due to reduced water content. A squeeze of lime and drizzle of olive oil will help you absorb all the vitamines and minerals available in those wonders of nature.
Amaranth leaves (called vlita in greece), dandelion greens, Swiss chard, Bok Choy, Kale, Spinach** or Chicory can be used. Note that dandelion greens, bok choi and kale are the less suitable for vata constitutions due to their strong bitter taste or being part of the cruciferous family (notorious for causing gas!) .
The following recipe is really tasty, and most enjoyed in winter months. In the summer I recommend a boiled variation.
- Greens leaves (Amaranth, dandelion greens, swiss chard, bok choy, kale, spinach** or chicory) – about 1 kg will yield 3-4 servings
- Handful of fresh herbs such as dill, spring onions, mint, oregano, basil
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
- Himalayan Salt – to taste
- Pepper – to taste
- Lime (or lemon) – a squeeze
- Olive oil – a drizzle
- Cut off the stem of the leafs. Separate the leaves.
- Wash stem and leaves thoroughly until water is running clear.
- In a pan, drizzle a little olive oil. Roast garlic for 2-3min.
- Add grated ginger. Roast for 30 sec.
- Add the stems first (if they are stems). Cover and cooked until tender. Steer often to avoid them burning or sticking on the pan
- Then add the leafs, cover and cook until leafs are soft. Stirring frequently.
- Finally stir in the fresh herbs, remove cover and let to cook until there is no more water content left.
- Serve with a sprinkle salt, pepper and squeeze of lime!
** spinach – avoid too much consumption of spinach for pitta imbalances
Bon appétit !