Have you ever heard that certain leafy greens need to be cooked before eating?
Do you wonder why?
Nutritional powerhouses like kale, collards, spinach, chard, and beet greens all contain oxalic acid. Oxalic acid occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, but when it comes to leafy greens, it's present in higher concentrations.
The problem with oxalic acid is that it binds with calcium and other minerals (like magnesium and iron) in order to be excreted from the body.
Calcium and magnesium are precious minerals our bodies need to function and grow properly. We are generally low or deficient in these minerals because modern-day agriculture practices have led to mineral-depleted soil. If we eat raw kale or other leafy greens raw, we just further the problem.
However, you don't have to give up these delicious, dark green leaves completely. Oxalic acid is easily reduced by steaming, boiling, or wilting the leaves of any of these vegetables for 5 to 8 minutes. Gently squeeze out any remaining water from the vegetables, and continue on with your favorite recipes. Also, dump the leftover water, because oxalic acid leaches out of the leaves and into the surrounding liquid.
Do you love your morning green smoothies? Simply cook and dehydrate your favorite greens, then turn them into a powder in your blender. Store the powder in a sealed jar and add it to your morning drink for that nutritional boost. Your beloved morning routine lives on. 😉
Here are a few of our favorite dark leafy green recipes.
You can also ferment greens to reduce the oxalic acid, such as in this fermented lemon spinach kraut.
Do you love your greens? How do you work around the oxalic acid issue? What's your favorite way to reduce before consuming dark leafy greens?
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