Easy Ways to Use Kale

UseYourEdibles#1

Good day, readers!

T.G.I.F! How has your week been? It has been a busy one for us, hence the late entry of this week’s blog post. Sincerest apologies for that and THANK YOU for still being with us on our weekly blog post series :) The weekends are just a sniff away and it is time to load up on nutrients to recharge for the upcoming week! Any ideas how to do so yet?

If you haven’t, fret not. Remember the benefits of the nutritional powerhouse, kale, that we talked about in our last blogpost? Let’s all give kale a go in our meals this weekend then. Before we look at the different ways to consume kale, let me share with you some tips on selecting and storing your kale, as well as preparing it for cooking.

Tips on Selecting and Storing Kale:

  • Good quality kale should have moist, firm stems and deeply-coloured leaves which look fresh. As per other vegetables, you want to make sure that the kale does not show signs of yellowing or browning.
  • If you prefer kale which is more tender with a milder flavour, pick/harvest those with smaller leaves.
  • If you are not using your kale immediately after harvesting, place kale in a ziploc bag and make sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible. Store the bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for 3-4 days. (However, we strongly encourage you to use your kale shortly after harvesting/buying because kale becomes more bitter the longer it is stored.)
  • DO NOT wash kale before storing because that may cause the kale to spoil.

Tips on Preparing Kale:

Rinse kale leaves under cold running water. Chop leaf portion into 1/2" slices and the stems into 1/4" lengths for quick and even cooking. To get the most health benefits from kale, let kale sit for a minimum of 5 minutes before cooking. 

Yumyum in Your Tumtum

To reap the full benefits and flavour of kale, it is recommended to steam it. Thereafter, you can use it in salads alongside other healthy ingredients like tomatoes (which you can totally grow on your own too). Juicing it to make green juice is also another simple yet delicious way to consume kale. If you want something more savoury, you can stir-fry your kale too. Below are some hassle-free, easy recipes that are perfect for the weekends and for the beginner you who want to try incorporating kale into your diet:

  • Green Juices (suggested for breakfast)
    i) Kale Pineapple Mint
    1 Cucumber
    1 Granny Smith Apple (green apple)
    1 Cup Pineapple
    3 Kale Leaves
    1 Handful Mint
    ½ Lemon (remove peel)

    ii) Kale Apple Love
    3 Kale Leaves
    5 small Apples (or 3 medium apples; doesn’t matter red or green apples)
    ½ Lemon (remove peel)

    Instructions:
    1. Choose the recipe that you want from above.
    2. Prepare the ingredients by dicing the fruits up and tearing the leaves into big pieces. 
    3. Place everything in a juicer/blender and blend away!

    *Note: Use ONLY kale leaves. Be sure to remove the fibrous stems else your blender/juicer might suffer!

    Source: http://www.greenjuiceaday.com/green-juice-recipes-beginners/
    • Steamed Kale in Salad- Serves 2 (recommended for lunch)
      Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes 

      Ingredients:
      1 pound kale, chopped

      Mediterranean Dressing:
      1 TBS lemon juice
      1 medium clove garlic, pressed or chopped
      3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
      Salt and black pepper to taste
      Optional: sliced onions, steam with kale
      2 TBS sun dried tomatoes (or cranberries)
      2 TBS sliced olives
      2TBS feta cheese (optional)
      5 drops soy sauce
      Picture is for illustration only and does not reflect the recipe given here

    • Instructions:
      1. Chop garlic and let it sit for 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting properties.
      2. Fill bottom of steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to boil. 
      3. While water is coming to a boil, slice kale leaves into 1/2-inch slices, and cut again crosswise. Cut stems into 1/4-inch slices. Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out its health-promoting properties. 
      4. When water comes to a boil, add kale (and onion if desired)to the steamer basket and coverSteam for 5 minutes. 
      5. Transfer to a bowl and toss with Mediterranean Dressing ingredients. Mediterranean Dressing does not have to be made separately. For the best flavor, toss with dressing while kale is still hot.
      6. Top with any/all of optional ingredients.

      Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=281
    • Stir-fried Kale (perfect for dinner!)
      Ingredients:
      2 tablespoons canola oil (or normal cooking oil)
      1 bell pepper, sliced
      2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
      kosher salt (or normal salt)
      1 medium bunch kale (whichever variety you prefer), thick stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
      1 tablespoon soy sauce
      ½ teaspoon sesame oil
      1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

      Instructions:
      1. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pepper and ginger, season with ½ teaspoon salt, and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
      2. Add the kale and soy sauce and cook, tossing occasionally, until the kale is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Mix in the sesame oil and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

      Source: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/kale-pepper-stir-fry

    For the more adventurous, or if you are a snack junkie, you can try making kale chips using either Lacinato or Green Curly Kale. Visit http://ohsheglows.com/2014/03/12/6-tips-for-flawless-kale-chips-all-dressed-kale-chips-recipe/ for tips on flawless kale chips.

    Tl;dr? Want to watch a video instead? Click here for a video which covers content from last week's and this week's blog posts: 

    Have a fulfilling weekend with your kale dishes, folks ;) 

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