Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Eat Your Kale

While browsing the produce section a year ago, I noticed that kale was cheaper than the collards and turnips, so I purchased the cheaper green, not realizing that I would become a lover of kale. To this day, I purchase mostly kale and very little collards and no turnips.

I have always found collards and turnips too bitter for my taste buds, but after tasting kale, I knew I had found a green that I had to have in my diet.

Kale

Kale is in the same family (Brassica) as cabbage and broccoli. Kale comes in different varieties (green, purple/black) and it resembles a wild cabbage. It is very hardy and can tolerate all soils as long as there is good drainage. I have noticed that kale is not prone to pests and diseases and is very easy to grow.

Benefits

Kale is packed with a lot of good stuff. It has powerful antioxidant and inflammatory properties. As a matter of fact, kale has the highest level of antioxidant of any vegetable. Kale is also very high in fiber and gets things moving.

Kale is high in total carotenes, vitamin K, vitamin C, luetin, zeaxanthin and rich in calcium. It is believed to have powerful anti-cancer properties, even more so when it is chopped or minced. Kale also helps in preventing diseases of the eye.

Recipe

Here is a recipe taken from the Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine written by Dr. Cousens. Dr. Cousens writes in his book that kale is one of the most nutrient-dense food items that you can buy in your whole-food store.

Avocado Kale Salad

1 bunch dinosaur kale (also know as lacinado kale)
1 large tomato
1 avocado
1 stalk celery
1/4 C olives
2 T of olive oil
2 t lemon juice
1 t salt

Variations:

10 olives any variety
1/2 C dulse
1 C shredded veggies
1/2 C pine nuts.

Directions: Remove main part of kale stem and finely chop leaves into bowl. Add salt and massage well until kale wilts. Add lemon and massage again. Add tomato, olives. Blend avocado, olive oil, and celery to cream and pour over salad. Mix well to completely coat the kale leaves. The order in which you add the ingredients is crucial; if you add the oil too early the kale will not wilt as well.

Enjoy and remember to eat your kale!