1 Nov 2011

Getting Greens With Kale

Kale is the same  cruciferous vegetable family as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. It is thought to have originated in Asia and was brought to Europe around 600 B.C. There are three main types of kale, the original curly kale and the much later varieties of dinosaur (Tuscan) and ornamental (salad savoy) kale.

Said to be one of the most nutritious vegetables, kale contains excellent amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, very good amounts of copper, tryptophan, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and fibre, and good amounts of vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and E, iron, magnesium, folate, phosphorous, omega_3 and protein. Kale is also high in  lutein, zeaxanthin, glucosinolates, kaempferol, quercetin and beta carotene.

Kale, like the other cruciferous vegetables, has wonderful health benefits. Steamed kale and to a lesser extent raw kale is known to lower cholesterol levels due to it's fiber-related nutrients.  It has a definite role to play in support of the body's detoxification processes.The many flavonoids, carotenoids and glucosinolates in kale an other cruciferous, give antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and ongoing studies state that they lower cancer risks if added regularly to our daily diet. Plus the carotenoids in kale help lower the risk of cataracts.

Note: Kale contains oxalates so those with kidney or gallbladder problems should not eat too much of it. Oxalates also reduce calcium absorption so eat kale at a different time to any calcium supplements you might be taking.

When purchasing kale look for firm, dark coloured leaves with no signs of wilting or yellowing. The smaller the leaves the milder and sweeter the flavour. The best time to purchase is late Winter to early Spring. Always purchase organic kale as normal commercial kale can contain pesticides. Store, without washing,  in airtight containers in the fridge. Refrigerated,it should last up to a week. After washing, kale can be eaten raw, dehydrated, steamed or added to stir fries.

So when adding greens to you daily meals do not forget about kale.

Dehydrated Salted Kale Chips  
By Donna October at The Healthy Eating Site

2 bunches of kale, rinse and remove stem
3 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil or hemp seed oil
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Celtic or Himalyan sea salt to taste

Mix the oil, apple cider vinegar and salt in a large mixing bowl. It’s easy to add more salt later and adjust it to your taste. Tear, or roughly chop the kale leaves up into bite-sized pieces. Think potato chip size, they will shrink a bit once they are dehydrated. Toss the kale pieces into the bowl with the oil and vinegar. Periodically mix the kale as you are adding it by tossing the kale in the oil and ACV mixture. Get your hands in there and massage the oil into the kale. You’re aiming to have the oil and ACV evenly coating all of the kale. It’s easier to do this if you add a bit of kale, toss and massage, add some more kale, toss and massage and repeat until you have used up all the kale. Place a Teflex sheet on top of a dehydrator tray and drop a handful or two of the coated kale leaves onto it. Try to spread the kale around so it’s not all clumped together, but you don’t have to be too particular about placing each individual piece because it will shrink and separate a bit as it’s dehydrating. Dehydrate overnight at 105-110 degrees F. It should take 10-12 hours, but times may vary due to humidity, size of the ‘chips’ and how thinly you can spread them on the sheets. In the morning, turn the kale onto a regular dehydrator tray to finish it off. Dehydrate for another 2-4 hours until crispy. NOTE: I’ve now found that if I don’t spread them too thick on the sheets, that after 10-12 hours of dehydrating they will be done without having to turn them. Eat fresh from the dehydrator or store in a tightly sealed glass jar to keep them crisp. I’m not sure how long they will keep because they never last for more than 2 days around me ;-) ~ Donna

Refreshing Plant Blood
Kristen Suzanne of Kristen's Raw
For more juicing recipes check out my e-book, Kristen Suzanne's EASY Raw Smoothies, Juices, Elixirs & Drinks.
1 cucumber
1 zucchini
1 apple
3-4 leaves kale

Juice these ingredients and enjoy a refreshing and blissful beverage.

Kale with Cranberries
From Elana's Pantry (if visiting, sign up for her fab newsletter)

2 bunches kale
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tbsps. olive oil

Steam the kale until it is bright green. Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet, toast the pine nuts. Allow kale and pine nuts five minutes to cool, then toss together in a large bowl. Add dried cranberries and olive oil. Toss and serve. Serves 8

Yammy Kale
From Dr McDougall's Newsletter - April 2011 
We grew several varieties of kale in our garden last year and they all kept producing over the winter months. My favorite is the Lacinato blue kale because it is just a bit more tender than the other varieties~Dr McDougall

2 Garnet yams, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Lacinato kale,thinly sliced
1 tbsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili paste
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Place the yams and water or broth in a large sauté pan. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until yams are just barely tender, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the chunks. Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook over medium low heat until liquid has been reduced by half. Add the kale, Worcestershire sauce and chili paste. Continue to cook until kale is ten-der, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lemon juice just before serving. Serve over brown rice or other whole grains. Hint: This may also be made with other varieties of kale, just remove the hard stem before slicing the kale. Garnet yams are the bright orange-fleshed sweet potatoes with reddish colored skins. Servings: 4

Fat-Free Kale and Sweet Potato Soup
By John Mitzewich From American Food at  

1 quart/litre vegetable broth
3 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lbs / 680 gms sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1" / 2cm cubes
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of cayenne
1 large bunch kale, washed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
fresh lemon wedges (optional)

In a 4 quart/ 2 litre saucepan, over high heat, bring the broth, water, salt, garlic, cayenne, and sweet potatoes to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are fork tender. Using a potato masher or a whisk, mash about 1/2 of the cubed sweet potatoes into the broth to thicken. The more you mash the thicker the texture. Add the kale and push down into the hot soup. Once the kale all wilts simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, or until the kale is tender and tasty. Undercooked kale can have a slightly bitter flavor that mellows with cooking. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon. The lemon is optional, but really brings out the flavor of the kale and sweet potato. Makes about 10 servings.

Wilted Kale Salad with a Creamy Chipotle Dressing
By Russell James The Raw Chef  

For the wilted kale
2 heads kale (this will seem like a lot but will wilt down when the salt is added)
2 tsps. salt
1 cup baby tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds

For the dressing
2 avocados
1 chipotle pepper*
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. agave
1/4 cup lemon juice
Chipotle soak water as needed to blend

*If not using chipotle peppers, substitute with 1/2 teaspoon each of onion powder, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and tamari/nama shoyu.
Remove the stems and then wash and cut the kale into small pieces. Place into a bowl, add salt and start to massage the kale until it wilts and takes on a ‘cooked’ texture. Add the tomatoes and hemp seeds to the bowl and mix in by hand. Blend all remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender until creamy and mix into kale by hand.Serves 2 – 4

Sesame Noodles with Kale
From the VegetarianTimes
This recipe demonstrates a practical way to boil pasta and a green vegetable together in one pot to create a colorful entrée. You'll start out with a huge amount of kale, but the greens shrink dramatically as they cook. Just be sure to use a very large pot.

1 large bunch kale - about 1-1/2lbs. / 680gms.
12 ozs. / 340gms udon, soba, spaghetti or fettuccine
2 tbsps. toasted sesame oil or to taste
2 tbsps. tamari or to taste
2 tbsps. toasted white or black sesame seeds

While you are bringing a large pot of water to a boil, hold bunch of kale together, slice off and discard thickest part of stem (about 1" / 2 cm). Still holding kale in a bunch, slice remaining stems and leaves as thin as you can. Set kale in sinkful (or large bowl) of water and swish vigorously to remove any grit. (Repeat this process with fresh water if kale seems especially sandy.) Lift out kale, place in colander and rinse thoroughly. When water has come to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook for 5 minutes less than cooking time indicated on package. Add kale stems and leaves in a few batches, pressing down with back of large spoon to submerge each batch. Continue cooking, uncovered, over high heat until kale and pasta are tender, about 5 minutes. (Kale tends to remain on top of pasta. Press it under water il and tamari and toss with fork. Taste and add more sesame oil and tamari if necessary. Add sesame seedfrom time to time with back of large spoon.) Drain pasta and kale and return to pot. Add sesame os and toss again. Serve hot or at room temperature. 4 Servings.


Dirty Butter said...

Hope you're doing well today. Do they celebrate anything like Mother's Day in SA?

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Bonnie said...

Thanks for posting some great kale info and recipes. I just noticed your kale blog today after I had just posted a kale recipe on my own blog. I follow your blog as well. The Veganishta.

Marion said...

Oh Jackie, the kale chips recipe has me salivating! I've heard about them on television and have always wanted to make them. And here they are!

I hope you're doing well...xx

urban vegan said...

How timely! I just made kale chips today.

thevegantummy said...

I love the sesame noodles and kale recipe!!! Soooo good!!! Thank you for posting it!!! :-)

hailey said...

Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you about some broken links on your site. Please email me back and I would be happy to point them out to you.

Hailey William

. said...

I love kale chips. Here is my favorite! They don't make it out of the dehydrator. So so good!!

Anji said...

Just popping by to see how you were. Hope everything is going fine for you.

Greenearth said...

Wonderful food. Always learn something when I visit your site.

Gary Zeidman said...


Seeking out vegan blogs and just found yours; happy I did.

Thanks for sharing these recipes on kale...

I myself had just posted 5 kale recipes as well. Please enjoy...



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Benjamin Marcus Raucher said...

Kale is a great vegetable and clearly underutilized

Benjamin Raucher

alexjackson1976gmail said...

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kathleenjames said...

Thanks for sharing such great fitness recipes using kale as main ingredient, keep posting such types of important information on vegetables.


I eat kale regularly and because of that i feel healthy. It is one of my major sources of vitamins and fiber. Since i started eating more green vegetables, including kale, my irritable bowel syndrome has improved. I appreciate the fact that you have shown us other ways of preparing kale. I am already excited and ready to practice these recipes. Thanks a lot.