healthy cooking

Take the Bitter Out of Those Greens!

I have to admit that I sometimes pass up super healthy, dark green veggies like mustard greens, turnip greens and dandelion greens because they seem to always turn out on the ultra bitter side. Not anymore! Now I know the right way to cook them - simply quick boil* them in unsalted water. No steaming  and no adding salt while they’re cooking because both methods lead to a more bitter product. So just save the salt for sprinkling or a dressing after cooking.

I’m happy to be rid of any excuse for passing up such healthy and tasty (when cooked right) greens. Hope this helps you too!

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*To quick-boil greens, bring about two quarts of water to a boil. Submerge the leaves whole into the boiling H20. Time varies from veggie to veggie, but basically when the leaves are wilted yet still brightly colored they should be done.  For mustard greens it should only be about 30 to 60 seconds, but for a variety with thicker leaves, like collard greens, it can take up to about 5 minutes. Once you remove the leaves from the pot, gently run cool water over them to halt cooking.

Rosemary + Meat = BFFs

I keep reading how the common herb we warmly know as rosemary seems to stop cancer cold in its tracks. More specifically, food scientists have found that rosemary inhibits the formation of HCAs – carcinogenic compounds that form when you cook protein – by as much as 79%! (This study in particular took place at Kansas State University) Include rosemary in your next marinade, especially when bbq-ing or cooking at high temperatures, for a significantly healthier meal! Other herbs that reduce cancer causing compounds include: basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, garlic and thyme.

{Rosemary Infused Grilled Chicken Breasts – Image & Recipe from GrillingCompanion.com}

Here are some more tips from Natural News for reducing the risk of cancer from cooked meats:
  1. Cook at lower temperatures. The higher the temperature the more HCAs and other cancer causing compounds are formed.
  2. Bake whenever possible. With baking it is easier to control temperature and the highest amount of cancer causing compounds are produced by grilling, barbecuing and pan frying.
  3. Don’t make gravy from meat drippings. The National Cancer Institute warns that meat drippings – even from meats cooked at lower temperatures – contain substantial amounts of HCAs.
  4. Limit consumption of meats, especially high-fat meats, reduce the portion sizes, select lean cuts and trim the fat on meats.
  5. Avoid charring meat and eating charred parts.
  6. Be sure to eat at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables.