Kale, the King of the Crucifers with its huge health benefits is a vegetable people sometimes shy away from because it has a bitter taste. But, it’s that very compound of an off-putting taste that carries all the wonderful health benefits. These compounds are called glucosinolates.
As it turns out, the more glucosinolates you have in a veggie, the better, and Kale has loads of them. Once you learn how to mix this terrific vegetable with other wonderful makers of health, you’ll see that it’s not so bad after all. In fact, it has become one of my favorites.
There was a time when a friend asked me if I’d like to taste her kale smoothie and I adamantly said “No!” But surprise, surprise. It was delicious, because you know she kept after me until I took an ever-so-slight little sip of a taste. After that, I started making my own.
And then there was the time while standing at the deli counter waiting my turn, when the woman next to me ordered the kale salad. I leaned over and asked her, “How does that really taste?” She told me that she had the same feelings about kale as I (judging from my scrunched up face), but once she tasted it, she loved it. So, I had to try. And, by golly, it was delicious.
What sealed the deal for me on kale was during a cooking demonstration of how to make a kale salad, among a couple of other delicious treats. Once I tasted it, I had to get the recipe, which luckily she was handing out. I have shared that recipe with all my clients, and I make it all the time, adding in whatever I have available. My grands love it, too. That’s a real testament to its deliciousness.
Kale grown today (one of the few vegetables not tampered with very much by industrialized agriculture) is a great source of cancer-fighting and heart-protecting food. Remember those glucosinolates? These are doing the heavy lifting along with a rich source of antioxidants.
You want to buy organically-grown kale, store it in the vegetable crisper and use it within a few days. Getting it as fresh as possible is the key to buying kale in order to preserve as much of its nutrient value as possible.
And you know why you hear or see kale in salads a lot? It’s because kale retains more of its antioxidants, Vitamin C and phytonutrients in a raw form than cooked, and chopping it releases its nutrients. Ever hear of kale being massaged? Same idea.
But, if you cook it, saute it slightly until it wilts. Best in olive oil and garlic to get even more wonderful health bennies. Steaming briefly also works.
Making kale chips can also deliver nutrition to your table and better than other ‘chips’. But, you do lose nutrients while baking it. So, don’t bake long and slow, rather a little higher and faster.
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