Bitterly Delicious: Embracing the Wildly Addictive World of Bitter Greens
Bitter greens may be an acquired taste, but their support of gut health is oh-so-sweet!
“Follow me, please.” The server at Ruby’s café led Annie and LJ through the restaurant and into the garden. It was a new area for the cafe’s customers. The tables were interspersed between rows of produce that were used in many of the restaurant’s most famous dishes. Cleverly, by showing how much and where her food was grown, Ruby created even more demand. The waiting list to get in was now up to a month.
The path to their table was lined with various green leafy veggies, colorful herbs, and flowers. As they settled down, LJ helped Annie with her chair and sat across from her. Looking at the server, he said, “We’ll take two waters and two strawberry lemonades to start. Thank you”
Annie looked around the garden. “LJ, when was the last time we had bitter greens? I’ve been reading about their important health benefits, and I see Ruby has planted several. I’m definitely ordering a salad.”
LJ followed her gaze, noting the garden’s variety. “The name doesn’t make me want to eat any, so maybe you can enlighten me?”
Annie leaned forward, smiling. “Bitter greens are a family of leafy vegetables that bring a deep flavor to dishes despite their slightly bitter taste. Six top contenders also pack a nutritional punch: arugula, dandelion greens, kale, collard greens, endive, and Swiss chard.”
LJ raised an eyebrow. “Nutritional punch and deep flavor? I’m all ears and taste buds.”
Pointing at a plant with bright green leaves shaped like a rocket, Annie replied, “That is Arugula. It has a nutty, peppery taste. When eaten raw, it has a crunchy mouth-feel with a hint of bitterness. When cooked, it has a more mellow, earthy flavor. Arugula is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K. It contains calcium, potassium, and iron minerals. Not to mention, it’s known for its aphrodisiac properties.
“Did you say aphrodisiac? Well, you definitely have my attention with that one. What about dandelion greens?
“Behind you are dandelion greens,” said Annie, pointing. They are the unsung hero of the bitter greens family. They truly deserve more…