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How can I reduce the dry mouth feeling that eating Swiss chard gives me?

Kosmonaut Jan 12, 2013 07:05 PM

Dark leafy greens like Swiss chard and spinach contain oxalic acid, which gives you that "dry mouth" feel when you eat them. Is there some cooking method or preparation I can do to reduce this dry mouth feel? I really enjoy eating leafy vegetables, but I don't like the resulting mouthfeel.

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  1. jmcarthur8 RE: Kosmonaut Jan 13, 2013 08:52 AM

    Just squirt a bit of fresh lemon juice on the greens right before serving.
    I learned that one accidentally when I threw together a quick spinach saute, and impulsively squeezed lemon in at the last minute.
    Other CHers can tell you how the chemical reaction works, I just know it does the trick.

    1. s
      scunge RE: Kosmonaut Jan 13, 2013 01:58 PM

      I never had that problem but I always prepare my chard with either fresh or canned tomato

      1. Terrie H. RE: Kosmonaut Jan 13, 2013 04:37 PM

        I've never heard of this, and I have eaten a lot of chard and spinach, but my suggestion would be to add a little slick of fat --- butter, olive oil, bacon fat, etc. I was raised eating chard with a dash of vinegar, though I doubt it would help with "mouthfeel." Try fat.

        1. w
          wyogal RE: Kosmonaut Jan 13, 2013 04:50 PM

          Does it happen when you cook it? After doing some googling, I found out that it is water soluble, so blanching, and then squeezing out excess water ought to help.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wyogal
            Kosmonaut RE: wyogal Jan 13, 2013 04:52 PM

            Yes, this is after sauteeing - I tried olive oil, butter, bacon fat ... dry mouth. I tried simmering in broth - dry mouth. I really love the flavor of chard and it's so healthy, but I can't stand the dry mouth feel.

            I haven't tried lemon yet.

            1. re: Kosmonaut
              wyogal RE: Kosmonaut Jan 13, 2013 04:53 PM

              Have you tried water? Blanch, squeeze dry, then saute.

          2. jmcarthur8 RE: Kosmonaut Jan 13, 2013 04:54 PM

            Here's an earlier discussion of the same thing:


            1. EWSflash RE: Kosmonaut Jan 13, 2013 07:19 PM

              Water, more water.

              1. mamachef RE: Kosmonaut Jan 14, 2013 04:36 AM

                I see that someone has suggested the squirt of lemon (or vinegar) post-cooking so that the acidity can neutralize the acid in the greens. I also don't know why it works, but it does stop that dry, squeaky mouthfeel. Another method if you don't care for the taste of either is to soak the greens in acidulated water for an hour, which will accomplish the same result; just make sure that you rinse and dry them well. And I bet you'd love a gratin, Kosmonaut. Give it a try.

                3 Replies
                1. re: mamachef
                  Novelli RE: mamachef Jan 14, 2013 09:40 AM


                  I grow various spinach and chard varieties and acidulated water or a quick blanch will remove those crystals that make your teeth feel "hairy".

                  1. re: Novelli
                    Kosmonaut RE: Novelli Jan 14, 2013 09:48 AM

                    OK, thanks - do you recommend water with lemon juice or vinegar?

                    1. re: Kosmonaut
                      wyogal RE: Kosmonaut Jan 14, 2013 09:50 AM

                      As stated earlier, it is about the water. The offending acid is water soluble.

                2. ursy_ten RE: Kosmonaut Jan 14, 2013 05:01 AM

                  You could also try teaming it with something mucilaginous - like okra, or ceylon spinach (malabar spinach, basella alba or basella rubra), which is meant to be very easy to grow.

                  My thinking is that they might cancel each other out somewhat.

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