Kale, Ahhh, kale. This truly is a “superfood” and a great addition to any healthy diet. A short article from the Huffington Post outlines why kale should be on our plates here. If you want to read up more detail about kale, try the Worlds Healthiest Foods article here or this article here which includes some easy Kale recipes. In summary kale is low in calorie and high in fibre, iron, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and magnesium, among others. It is full of antioxidants, and is a great anti-inflammatory food. It also has proven cholesterol lowering benefits. However, it is important to note that if you have a thyroid condition, you need to be careful about consuming raw kale on a regular basis due to its goitrogenic effect, which can hinder thyroid function. You can read about Kale and its effect on your thyroid here. You can read more about Goitrogens on the Wikipedia entry here, or this article from PaleoHacks also covers the subject well.
I always avoided it because the first time I tried it it tasted like tough grass. Not at all appealing. Turns out I was just preparing it wrong. While it looks much like silverbeet, it does require a little extra finesse.
The first thing I recently learnt from my friend Cris was that the stems and ribs are really tough. If you are planning on eating this raw, then the leaves need to be stripped off, in a similar way you would strip herb leaves like rosemary or thyme off their tough woody stems.
Next up, if you want to eat kale raw, you need to give it a massage! Once the leaves are stripped and well washed and rinsed, they need to be finely chopped and drizzled with olive oil and then massaged by hand to rub the oil into the leaves for a couple of minutes. This process is quite amazing and completely transforms the tough grassy leaves into soft and lovely and ready for eating. A great tutorial on how to do this along with some photos that show the “before” and “after” can be found over on the In Sonnet’s Kitchen Blog here.
I made a massaged kale salad last night and added in bacon, toasted pine nuts, grilled haloumi and lemon. Delicious.
I also have been meaning to add green smoothies into my diet for months now. I finally started this morning with a green smoothie using:
I blended in my thermomix for 2 minutes at speed 10 and was really super impressed with how delicious it tasted, how easy to drink, and it didn’t taste of grass at all.
If you don’t have a thermomix then an appliance like a Nutri Bullet NBR-12 12-Piece Hi-Speed Blender/Mixer System (Amazon Affiliate link) is highly recommended to be able to quickly blend the entire fruit and vegetable into a delicious smoothie.
I read a good explanation of why blending and drinking the entire vegetable is better than just drinking extracted juice, with the pulp and fibre removed over on the Quirky Cooking Blog here. There are also some great smoothie recipes there as well.
So, goodbye 2013 and here is to 2014 being a great year for us all. Thank you all for following along with me on the grain free journey. In late 2013 I was pleased to be able to upgrade the website and be able to start blogging again regularly. I am looking forward to some inspiring new beginnings and positive changes to health and fitness in the new year. Stay tuned.
*Edited March 2015 to note that I no longer use Kale in my smoothies due to the goitrogenic effect, but I do consume it sometimes cooked in soups and stews.