Friday, April 30, 2010

What the heck do I do with.....Kale???

mmmmm Kale! I think Kale is my favorite green. It grows early in spring, throughout the summer and well into fall and is PACKED with nutrition. Let's check out the stats:
As a member of the Brassica family (think Brussels Sprouts, cabbage), kale has anti-cancer fighting properties in it's organsulfur compounds and phytonutrients. It is loaded with Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and minerals (iron, calcium, potassium).
1 cup of kale has a whopping 36 calories, 3g fiber and 2.5g protein!!!
So what the heck do you do with it??
Well, one easy way to prepare it is to simply saute it with garlic, olive oil, a squeeze of honey and lemon juice and some sea salt. I prepared it for a client this week; here's a picture:
What you want to do is get a nice big head of kale and wash it thoroughly. First, remove the leaves from the stems. Pile one leaf on another and roll them up tight. Take a sharp knife and cut across the leaves, cutting the kale into thin strips. Put the cut kale into a bowl of cold water and swish it around, then let it soak for a bit. When you want to cook it, simply lift the kale out the water, letting the bottom remain undisturbed (that's where the dirt will be).

Take a big non stick pan and over medium-low heat, in a coating of olive oil, sweat out 2-3 minced cloves of garlic until they have softened up. Add the kale in to the pan. It's going to look like too much for the pan, but what will start to happen is, the kale will wilt as it gets the heat. Add a couple pinches of sea salt, the juice of half a lemon and about a TBS of honey. Stir the kale around so it gets coated with all the goodies and then cover the pan. Let the kale steam up for about 2 minutes, then take the cover off and saute the kale for about 5-8 more minutes. That's it.

My favorite way to use kale is to bake it, making kale chips. Kale chips are an amazing treat, tasting just like potato chips, but without the guilt of potato chips.
To make kale chips, remove the stems from the leaves, and then simply tear the leaves into bite size pieces. Wash as directed above, and then allow the leaves to dry, on a baking sheet. When they have dried up, sprinkle them with sea salt, about 1-2 tsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Coat all the leaves, and then bake in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. Be careful, because once the kale gets going, it cooks quickly and you want to prevent burning, because it will be bitter. At the 10 minute mark, give the leaves a stir. That's it....
If you are a raw foodist, you can prepare the kale in a dehydrator set for 105 degrees, for approximately 8 hrs and you'll get the same effect.

Here's some kale from my most wonderful CSA, Stillman's Farm:

Can't wait for it to start!!!
Be sure to try some kale soon!!!

1 comment:

genevieve said...

I love Kale Chips, or Kale Crunch, inour house. My kids actually ask for them. Maybe if we call it Kale Krunch it will seem more friendly and everyone will eat them!