In the in extreme southern and northern hemisphere regions with cold to very cold winters, people spend more time indoors, become physically less active, and consume heavy, fat-laden foods.
This inactivity results in an increase of fatty tissue and toxicity of the body.
The primary organ responsible for metabolizing both fat and toxins is the liver. Traditionally, people supported detoxification with herbs, and foods that are known to stimulate liver activity.
Bitter vegetables and herbs naturally stimulate the body.
In western cultures, people overindulge in sweet, salty, and fatty foods, and tend to avoid bitter vegetables and herbs.
Bitter vegetables improve appetite, digestion, stimulate gastric juice production, lower blood sugar levels, de-congest gall bladder, and the liver.
Bitter vegetable and herb cooking must preserve more than 60 per cent of their bitterness to remain effective. While consuming such foods, you must be able to taste the bitterness.
Bitter flavours in capsule or tablet form are les, or not effective.
Dandelions, chicory greens, stinging nettles, wild leeks, purslane
(a k a lamb’s quarters, pigweed), garlic mustard, bitter melon are classified as bitter vegetables.
American scientists and horticulturists hybridized and continue to hybridize chard, spinach to render them less bitter. These versions are thought to be less effective, but more acceptable to sweet-loving individuals.
You can sauté dandelions, chicory greens, stinging nettles, wild leeks, purslane, and garlic mustard, after treating them appropriately before cooking in clarified butter, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, chopped onion, salt and pepper.
Stewed kale, spinach, beet greens taste fine when cooked in olive oil, with chopped carrots of summer sweet peas.
Lemon or limejuice will help neutralize some of the bitterness, but not eliminate it.
Bitter melon sliced and salted for 30 – 60 minutes, then squeezed, taste less bitter and is more appropriate for sautéing or stewing with carrots and tomato sauce.