Tuesday 30 October 2012

You've Got Kale!

Autumn also offers one of its greatest secret seasonal weapons, kale. Kale is available most times of the year (where I live anyway) but autumn is when it is at its best. Kale is a very curly leafed brassica, which means it is in the same family as cabbage and mustard. Like most other vegetables that are dark green and leafy, kale is extraordinarily good for you. It is dense in fiber, calcium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and beneficial antioxidants. Kale has been proven to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of many cancers, it's great for your bones, great for your eyes, great for your circulation... you simply can't go wrong with this stuff!

Like all vegetables, it is healthiest when consumed raw. It is great in salads, although the texture has bit more stress than you might expect from a salad green. The trick is to massage the kale leaves a little bit of coarse salt to soften them and awaken the flavours. I also like to mix it with a softer salad leaf like arugula, spinach or a mesclun mix. I recently made a fresh salad with kale, arugula, raspberries, red pepper, red onion and walnuts. The right balance of flavours, textures and colours can really make a salad stand out. Eating healthy is so enjoyable as long as you know how to do it right. 

Another great way to eat kale is by seasoning it and dehydrating it into kale chips. They make a fantastic, healthy snack. Kale is also great sautéed and tossed with Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (olive oil and sliced garlic) with heaps of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Kale can also be steamed like collards or braised to accompany rich meats like osso bucco and roast beef.

I hope this has inspired you to incorporate more kale into your diet this autumn. Enjoying kale is one of the many ways to...

Be happy and stay fed!


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