These easy sauteed bitter greens are a delicious addition to any healthy meal! This is a terrific recipe for any night. Keto, paleo, vegan, Whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free.
You might have to sell me on this one…
I know what you’re probably thinking…bitter greens?! YUCK! The taste is definitely something you don’t just jump into and love from the start.
Remember when you had coffee the first time, did you love it without sugar or milk added the first time you had it? If you did, you are one of the very few. It takes time for your taste buds to adapt to bitter tasting foods.
But let me tell you, there are SO many benefits of bitter greens, that it will change your perspective for sure.
Bitter foods in general have many health benefits, the main one being that they are incredible for the liver. Bitter foods stimulate the production of bile, which helps to aid digestion.
Bitter greens have lots of micronutrients like vitamins A, C and K, as well as antioxidants that help counteract the oxidative stress of the Standard American Diet.
Plus, after adapting my taste buds, I started to crave these power-packed veggies, and I know you will too!
Let’s give them a try!
So technically this recipe is a bit of a misnomer because my preferred method of cooking bitter greens is to steam lightly first, then saute.
First you’ll want to gather kale, collard greens, turnip green and mustard greens. Remove the thick stems and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add to a pan with water, and steam until they begin to soften, which takes just a few minutes.
You don’t want to steam them all the way, or they will become really soft after sauteing, so be sure to watch closely.
Drain the water from the pan, and add in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. You can also add in a little lemon juice to remove some of the bitter flavor as well.
Saute until the greens are cooked to your liking, and the garlic becomes fragrant, which should take another 5 minutes or so.
The nice thing about this method is that you can cook a big batch, and then enjoy it throughout the week! Simply store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
I want the benefits of bitter greens, but I hate the taste. Any suggestions?
Bitter greens are definitely an acquired taste. If you really can’t stand the taste, seasonings, salt and lemon juice are supposed to help neutralize the taste.
However, I have heard that to experience the benefits, you should be able to taste the bitter flavor. If cutting back on the bitter flavor is necessary for you to stomach it though, then do what you need to do. Bitter is super healthy!
I don’t like one of these greens, can I substitute?
Yes you can! Add more of another green, simply leave one out, or add in something else. This recipe is super versatile, so feel free to customize however you like.
You will also love these other side dish recipes:
Easy Sauteed Bitter Greens
- 1 bunch kale thick stems removed
- 1 bunch Collard greens thick stems removed
- 1 bunch turnip greens
- 1 bunch mustard greens
- 1/2 cup water for steaming
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil for sauteing
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice optional, to remove some of the bitter flavor
- Chop and de-stem kale, collard greens, turnip greens and mustard greens. Add to a large pan with water, and steam over medium heat until they begin to soften, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Drain water and add in olive oil to steamed greens. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and a little lemon juice if you want to remove some of the bitter taste. Saute over medium-low heat until garlic is fragrant, approximately 5 more minutes.