We Cook the Lacinato Kale, Collards and Mustard Greens First
Although green vegetables, especially when properly prepared — usually with fat, salt and a bit of acid, like lemon juice — are among the healthiest foods we eat, they also have a down side, and that is the presence of oxalates, which are especially abundant in leafy greens.
Oxalates are best thought of as a plant metabolite used by the plant to discourage predators from eating their valuable leaves. Without leaves, plants can’t breathe, can’t capture the sun’s rays and turn this energy into their food. Plants, therefore, go to great lengths to protect their leaves. One strategy they use is to produce oxalates (or oxalic acid), which create a bitter taste to discourage hungry critters from feasting on their leaves. Oxalates can also prevent the proper digestion of foods.
This strategy presents a nutritional dilemma for the consumer: How do we continue to eat green vegetables — which are packed with disease-fighting and anti-aging vitamins and minerals and other nutrients — yet protect ourselves from oxalates’ negative effects, which can include kidney stones and inflammation?
First, cook the leaves in water and then discard the water – both steaming and blanching are options. Second, choose plants that are naturally low in oxalates. We do both. Unlike all the other green-powder companies I know of, we cook our greens, just as you would at home. We also use greens that contain fewer oxalates than other greens: lacinato kale, collards and mustard greens.
Like our other green powders, Low-Oxalate Greens Powder is very versatile. Sprinkle liberally on any savory dish you make, include in smoothies and put one to three teaspoons in your soup.
Wishing you a healthy and happy summer,
Tom Cowan, M.D.