Today I am naturally crazy for kale, the king of veggies, one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Some of you may be thinking (yuck) bitter taste, or I just don’t know what to do with it.
My father and I didn’t have what I would call a healthy relationship but what he did teach me was the benefit of eating my veggies. As youngsters my siblings and I were relegated to assisting with the planting of the garden (more like the size of a small field) and the maintenance, hoeing, picking, etc. From there some of us were moved into the kitchen (yours truly) for the canning of those fresh-picked beauties or blanching to freeze for future meals. I’m sure I did some whining at the time but am forever grateful for those lessons.
A nutritional powerhouse, the list of benefits derived from kale goes on and on. It is a cruciferous vegetable, much like broccoli, cabbage, or brussel sprouts, so has cancer-preventive properties and provides cardiovascular support. It is a super antioxidant, a detoxifier, an anti-inflammatory, is chock-full of vitamins A, C, K and many minerals, such as potassium and iron. Kale is unusually high in fiber, which is sorely lacking in many diets and is a great way to flush out fats and toxins from our system.
This super veggie comes in many varieties:
Curly – more pungent, peppery flavor
Ornamental – more mellow flavor and tender texture
Dinosaur (Lacinato or Tuscan) – slightly sweeter and more delicate taste
Here are just a few ideas for enjoying this amazingly versatile veggie:
Green Drink (made in blender)
- ½ green apple
- 1/2 cucumber (peeled)
- 1/2 c. baby spinach or kale (or more to your liking)
- 1/2 lemon (peeled)
- 1 small piece ginger root
- 2 c. filtered water
Green Drink (made with juicer)
- 6 kale leaves
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 green apples
- ½ lemon (peeled)
- 1 sm. piece ginger root
- ½ bunch kale
- ½ head red cabbage (can be made with green cabbage if red not available)
- 1 red or yellow pepper
- 5 scallions
- ½ pkg. arame seaweed
- Lots of raw almonds (2+ cups) and raw sesame seeds (1/4 cup)
- Equal parts of organic toasted sesame seed oil and organic tamari
Chop kale, cabbage, pepper and scallions. Put the almonds in a strong plastic bag and chop them in the bag with a mallet until coarsely chopped. Soak the arame in water for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and strain. Put everything together and add sesame oil and tamari to taste.
For a quick “get your greens” dish, sauté kale with garlic in extra virgin olive oil (just until tender ~ 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add sea salt and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice.
So now, no more excuses. This king of veggies can be a regular addition to your meal planning. Eat your greens and enjoy!