Do You Struggle With Sugar Cravings? Try This...

Do you constantly crave chocolate, cookies or cupcakes?

There are many reasons why you might crave sugar, from a dietary imbalance, chronic dehydration and sleep deprivation, to stress overload, suppressed emotions and a pleasure deficiency.

Your cravings could be driven by one thing, or many things.

One way to tame your sweet tooth is by adding more bitter veggies to your diet, such as:

  • Arugula
  • Broccoli rabe (rapini)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Dandelion greens
  • Endive
  • Kale
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard greens
  • Radicchio
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress

Consumption of bitter foods can help reduce sugar cravings and balance blood sugar.

They also have numerous other health benefits, such as improving digestion and nutrient absorption, detoxifying the liver, reducing cancer risk, and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

For more tips on understanding and reducing your sugar cravings, check out this, this and this. Oh yes, and this, too.

Dandelion Greens: The Wonder "Weed"

If you're lucky to have a lawn, you may be lucky (yes, lucky!) to have a flourishing crop of dandelions. Considered an annoying weed by many lawn owners, the greens on those sweet yellow flowers are extremely nutrient-dense. 

An inexpensive and accessible super-food, dandelion greens are one of the most vitamin-packed foods on the planet. They contain four times the amount of beta-carotene found in broccoli, have 32 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, and more calcium than a cup of cottage cheese.

Bitter greens like dandelion greens are highly cleansing, helping to detoxify our liver and kidneys. Dandelion greens support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation, and have been traditionally used to treat gout, eczema, jaundice, edema and acne. They have both mild laxative and gentle diuretic properties that purify the blood and cleanse the system, and are said to help dissolve kidney stones.

Buy a bunch at your local grocer or farmers’ market. Organic is best. You can also pick them right from your yard, but not from a pesticide-sprayed area!

Dandelion greens are best when young; more mature leaves are quite bitter. The mild-tasting young greens can be enjoyed raw, whereas mature leaves are best lightly cooked.

Consume within a day or two after purchasing. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, place the greens in a colander and wash them well with cold water. Pat the greens dry with paper towel.

Here's a yummy, simple recipe for enjoying these vitamin-loaded weeds.

Dandelion Salad with Warm Walnut Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch dandelion greens, tough stems discarded, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat
     
  2. Add garlic and nuts and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden (be careful not to burn it)
     
  3. Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper
     
  4. Add greens, tossing until coated with the dressing and slightly wilted

I like to add caramelized onions if time allows.

Enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook