ABC SUPERFOODS: K is for Kale

Kale

Benefits
Did you know kale supplies more iron than beef and more calcium than milk? Kale contains 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and 36 grams calories in one whole cup. The fiber and sulfur in kale are great for detoxifying your body. Kale is also high is vitamin C and A, improving vision, immune system, and metabolism. The vitamin K contained in this superfood fights against inflammation in the body, too. The glucosinolates provided in a diet of kale has been shown to prevent such cancers as colon, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian, and gastric.

At the Market
-Favorable kale has moist, hardy stems and deeply colored and firm leaves.
-Avoid kale that has holes, looks wilted or has begun to turn brown or yellow.
-Smaller leaves are favorable since they will have a more mild flavor and be more tender.

In the Kitchen
-Store in an air-tight plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
-Since it encourages spoilage, avoid washing before storing.
-Note: the longer kale is stored, the more bitter it becomes.
-Sprinkling kale with lemon juice before cooking enhances its phytonutrient concentration.
-For quick and even cooking, hop leaf portion into 1/2″ slices and the stems into 1/4″ lengths .

Recipe

Butter Beans with Kale and Eggs

1 pound butter beans (large lima beans)
Kosher salt
3 to 4-ounce salt pork (see note)
2 quarts low-sodium homemade or canned chicken broth
2 bay leaves
4 thyme sprigs
1 whole onion, split in half
1 medium carrot
1 rib celery
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes packed in juice, roughly chopped
4 cups roughly chopped kale, swiss chard, or curly spinach leaves
2 to 4 hard boiled eggs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

kale

1. Cover beans with 2 quarts cold water and add 2 tablespoons salt. Stir once to combine then set aside at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 18 hours.

2. Drain and rinse beans and add to a large saucepan. Add salt pork (see note), chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, onion, carrot, and celery. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer and cook until beans are completely tender, about 1 hour, topping up with water as necessary (beans should be just poking through the top surface.

3. Discard bay leaves, thyme sprigs, onion, carrot, and celery. Remove pork and discard if desired or chop up and add back to pot. Add tomatoes and kale to pot, bring to a simmer, and cook, gently stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until thickened and stew-like, about 20 minutes longer.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve, topping with hard boiled eggs and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Beans can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and will improve with time. Reheat by microwaving or stir gently over medium heat, adding liquid as necessary.

(Recipe taken from seriouseats.com)

How do you like to prepare your kale?

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