It’s SuperFood Friday again! And when we speak of super nutrient-dense foods, we cannot forget our leafy greens. Kale is a form of cabbage where the leaves do not form a round ball or “head” of cabbage, but it is where they spread out to almost look like a fern. It is often called borecole, and is one of the healthiest vegetables I can think of!
Not only is it very low in calories, but it contains vitamins A, C, K, B, and E all in one vegetable! It also has copper, calcium, iron, manganese, and the wonderful sulforaphane that has shown to both decrease inflammation and is thought to decrease your risk of many kinds of cancers. So why need a vitamin supplement when we have this nutrient packed vegetable?
Many people find that vegetables and fruit taste better when they are fresher and straight from the ground, but kale freezes very well and is actually sweeter and better tasting in my opinion after it has been exposed to frost. It is used across almost every region of the globe and has been incorporated into so many dishes that it is hard to keep track of them all!
Some kinds of kale even sprout flowers which are used for their beautiful and colorful appearance. Also when it is not cooked, it is used as a garnish similar to parsley. But lets stick to talking about cooking it, since it taste so good!
When you first take kale out of the fridge, it taste really bitter. Even once you wash it, it still has that incredibly bitter taste. There are many ways to get rid of that bitterness, though some may like it. My favorite way to get rid of the bitterness? Steam it.
How to steam Kale:
1. Pour half a cup of water into a pot and let it boil.
2. Put the kale into the boiling water and put the lid on the pot. Let it sit until it begins to wilt. Add salt if you would like, but it is completely optional.
3.Once the kale has wilted a little bit, serve it hot or put it into a bowl of ice water and swerve cold.
Once you have steamed it, you can do all kinds of stuff to it. Throw it on a salad, have it as a side dish, put it in a stir fry, or you could use it in the recipe below. Its all up to you. Sometimes, i even throw it into the blender with a little bit of coconut milk. Then i strain it into a jar to get the rest of the leaves out, and i drink the dark green juice. I know it does not exactly sound appetizing and the smell isn’t exactly the best, but the taste is surprising and it is a great cleanser for liquid dieters who are lacking in essential vitamins.
Or, use that liquid for one of my favorite recipes:
Squash and kale soup– makes 1-2 servings, cooks in less than 30 min.
1/2 c. kale, half of a yellow squash, 1/2 c. water (or other liquid)
-Fill a bowl with 1/4 c. of water and set the squash in it. Cover the bowl with a paper towel and microwave it for 3 minutes.
-tear or cut up the kale and put it in the blender with the rest of the water. Add the squash and blend on high until it all becomes a puree.
-Strain the soup if you’d like, and then pour everything into a microwave safe serving bowl. Microwave it one more time for 2 min.
This soup is delicious. I added a little soy yogurt and a basil leaf for mine, but use anything you’d like. Try goat cheese and parsley or just a little pepper. Either way, this is one great way to get a good amount of your daily nutrition all in one meal.
-Andrew “VegMuffinMan” Morrison-