Beginner’s Guide to Dark Leafy Greens, Part 4

Summer: it’s all about sand, sun, and fresh, green juice! If you’re confused by all the leafy goodness at the farmer’s market, our four-part guide has got you covered. We’ve demystified everything from kale to mustard greens, and now we’re moving right along with this batch of slightly exotic leaves just waiting to jump in your juicer…

But, in case you need a refresher, here they are!

Onward to part 4 in our series!

Sorrel

Wake up your taste buds with the bright, lemony taste of sorrel—a garden herb that peaks in the spring. It’s so high in vitamin C that it was used to prevent scurvy in the olden days. In these modern times, toss it in your blender along with strawberries, lemon juice, half an avocado, and some ice for a tart-sweet green smoothie. Try to snag a fresh bunch of sorrel from your farmer’s market, because this green needs to be eaten soon after harvest.

Sorrel also pairs well with cheese and eggs—try it in a quiche, although keep in mind that the bright green leaves turn khaki-colored when cooked (totally normal). In salads, use the smallest, tenderest leaves—they taste better raw. (Those with kidney stones or arthritis should consume only small amounts of sorrel, due to the presence of oxalic acid in the leaves.)

Beet Greens

The leafy tops of the beet plant are powerful blood and kidney cleansers, so they’re a great candidate for juicing. But never drink beet or beet green juice straight – it’s too strong. Always mix with other fruits and vegetables!

Good beet greens have dark purple-red veins and long, firm stalks. They’re a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. Like sorrel, they contain oxalic acid, so should be avoided by those with kidney stones or arthritis.

The juice of beet greens pairs well with carrot, apple, cucumber, and other leafy greens. Please remember to use no more than one beet or about 3 beet leaves in your juice to avoid overloading your system.

Collard Greens

Collard greens are large, smooth, white-veined, and sturdy—making them perfect for veggie wraps or holding together raw tacos. Steamed collard greens are better than steamed kale, broccoli, and cabbage at binding with the bile acids in your digestive tract and lowering your cholesterol. They’re a superb source of vitamin K and packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, manganese, calcium, and fiber.

When juicing your collard greens, roll several leaves together into a tight tube, and feed the tube through the juicer. If you’re used to juicing kale, try substituting collard greens for kale in your favorite recipe, or just pair collards with sweet fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and pears. (And unfortunately, we have to give the oxalic acid warning here, too. Consume in moderation!)

Photo attribute: tinyfarmblog.com

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