Beginner’s Guide to Dark Leafy Greens, Part 3

Don’t get mad, get green! Welcome to the last installment of our series (catch up on part 1, and then check our part 2 here!)

Familiarize yourself with dandelion greens, watercress, and endive–then go forth and juice (or blend, or salad-ize, or saute) with our blessing!

Dandelion Greens

Who said anything about weeds? Moderately anti-inflammatory, a good source of vitamins K and A with trace amounts of the B vitamins, and a rich mineral profile, dandelion greens want to be your friend. Consider tossing a handful of greens in your blender before you eradicate the dandelions from your front lawn.

Dandelion greens are somewhat bitter, so pair with sweeter veggies like carrots when you juice.

Try this gently detoxifying juice the next time you’re feeling blah: juice half a bunch of dandelion greens with four handfuls of spinach, four carrots, a cucumber, a few stalks of celery, and the juice of one lemon. Drink up! Dandelion crown not included.

Watercress

This idyllic, delicate little green grows on top of streams, and has a peppery, fresh flavor when eaten raw. It has a reputation for defending against lung cancer, and it’s a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, the B-vitamins, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.

For an incredibly delicious spicy-sweet green smoothie, blend watercress with parsley, mango, and frozen banana. Perfect for cooling off in the middle of the day.

Endive

This pretty green comes in both curly (frisee) and straight (escarole) varieties. Both are high in vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and fiber. The juice has a bite to it—use  only a handful of leaves when you blend or juice—and it’s good for cleansing your kidney, liver, and bladder.

It’s also beneficial for your eyes and skin! Lace-like frisee is popular in salads and pairs well with pears, blue cheese, or a poached egg.

When blending or juicing, pair bitter endive with a milder green, like spinach. Or, pair it with something sweet, juicy, and totally summery–we recommend watermelon.

Photo attribute: smittenkitchen.com

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