Although Kale is available throughout the year, it is best and most nutritious during the winter months and in early spring. Here are some facts and ideas of what to do with the first leaves of the season.
A member of the cabbage family, kale is low in calories and one of the most highly nutritious vegetables around. It is a great source of dietary fiber, rich in vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, E, manganese, calcium, phosphorus and carotene. Please remember that cooking destroys vitamin C, so please have a look at the serving suggestions below.
Kale should have dark green, tender, crisp and fresh leaves. The smaller leaves will have a milder flavor and will be more tender than the bigger ones. Kale keeps fresh in the fridge for several days but is best eaten within two days after buying.
Rinse off any dirt under running cold water and if you can only get non organic kale, soak the leaves in water with a splash of apple cider vinegar for ten minutes, before rinsing them again. The tough stems are perfect for juicing, so don’t throw them away, simply keep them in the fridge and juice the next day .
Serving ideas : Kale make a great addition to salads, just remember to select the small and tender leaves. As mentioned above, kale ( stem and leaves) is great for juicing, check out one of my green juices for trying it out. A great and well known side dish, kale is delicious when sauteed with butter or ghee and fresh garlic, a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil, some lemon juice and Himalayan salt .
One of my favorites are kale crisps, they are easily made at home and so much cheaper and better than from the shop. All you need is: 1 bag of kale , 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt.
Pre-heat the oven at around 80-110 degrees; wash and dry off the leaves, tear them into smaller pieces if needed, sprinkle and massage the olive oil into the dry leaves, add Himalayan salt and mix well. Put some baking paper on a baking tray, spread out the leaves and bake until crisp. It usually takes around 15-25 minutes, but please keep an eye as the kale leaves easily burn. The safest way is to open the oven door now and again, to check on them and let the accumulating steam escape. Enjoy ! If you have a dehydrator, even better & healthier, but it takes a lot longer to make them.
For different flavors add chilli flakes, cayenne pepper or nutritional yeast ( this adds a cheesy flavor). Another delicious variation is to massage the kale with a miso -tamari paste. For one bag of kale (170g) take 1 tbsp of sesame oil, with half a tbsp of miso paste ( I love the Clear Spring barley or brown rice miso paste) , 1 tsp of sesame seed, 1 tsp of Tamari ( or soy) sauce, 1 tsp of Tahini, half a tsp of very finely chopped ginger ( or crushed with a garlic press – saves a lot of time) and mix well. Massage the paste into the leaves, make sure it is distributed well, so that every leaf gets a good coating- spread the kale on baking paper and bake as described above.
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