Kale is King

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:

(photo compliments of gardenaction.co.uk)

Curly – more pungent, peppery flavor

(photo compliments of az plant lady)

Ornamental – more mellow flavor and tender texture

(photo compliments of mvseeds.com)

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
Butternut Squash and Kale Hash  – This is soooo good!
(make without eggs for vegan version)
Raw Kale Salad (makes a large recipe)
  •  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!

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