by Lisa Conrath-Bova, Founder of Simply Better Choices, LLC, Co-Founder Lenity Financial, Inc.
Kale as Super Food!
Once I learned about it’s health benefits, I made sure Kale was a staple in my garden! Known as one of the "Super Foods", Kale has many health benefits. It is also one of those vegetables in your garden that just keeps on giving. Known for it's longevity in the midwest, growing and clipping it's leaves for 6 months or more is common. (In the often extreme heat of July it may slow it's yield for a while.)
Filled with nutrients like vitamins, folate and magnesium.
A great anti-inflammatory food
The two most common varieties of Kale seem to be “dinosaur” kale and “curly” kale. If you’ve ever tasted it raw, in particular the dinosaur kale, it’s bitter taste reminds you why you may not have added it to your diet or garden. However, I’ve found a few great recipes and a way to include it in my smoothies that make this healthy Super Food not only digestible but also delicious!
A NOTE ABOUT RAW KALE —-and this is IMPORTANT!
Like many, I learned of the amazing benefits and virtues of Kale and immediately added it to my diet. Yet, in reading further, I realized that the proper preparation of kale is important. Why? Because Kale is a goitrogenic vegetable and when eaten raw in small quantities, this vegetable can inhibit the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. If it’s eaten in excess, these chemicals can inhibit the incorporation of iodine into thyroid hormone and iodine is an important piece for thyroid health.
So, use this Super Food and prepare it properly before popping it into your smoothy every day.
How to prepare it to decrease the goitrogenic properties in raw kale:
Boil it for seven minutes, drain and squeeze the excess water out. You can use some of this water (nutrient rich) in your recipe or smoothy. The boiling reduces the goitrogens by close to 90%. (*a special thank you to deliciouslyorganic.net, one of the few blogs that share this important detail.)
Once you boil it, it’s ready to pop into your smoothy and scramble in your eggs.
Easy prep and storage for future smoothy use:
Take the kale along with some of the water which will contain the antioxidants and nutrients that have boiled off the kale and place it in your high speed blender. Pour the blended mixture into ice cube trays. Freeze. Place in freezer bags for future use in smoothies!
An Amazingly "delish" recipe - loved by all at our summer parties! :
Kale Waldorf Salad (Whole Foods Market)
• 4 cups packed finely chopped kale, preferably dinosaur kale
• 1 large red apple, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, chopped, divided
• 3 large stalks celery, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, divided
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raisins, divided
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons water, more if needed
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Place kale in a large bowl. Add half the apple to kale along with celery, 1/4 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup raisins. Put remaining apple in a blender along with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts, remaining 2 tablespoons raisins, mustard, water, vinegar and salt. Purée until well combined and slightly thick, adding water if needed to thin. Pour dressing over kale salad and toss to combine.
Per Serving: 140 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 135mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, (3 g dietary fiber, 10g sugar), 3g protein.
Sources: whfoods.org, deliciouslyorganic.net, mindbodygreen.com, Dr. Melissa West, Melissawest.com