A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about bacon, eggs and greens. Since then, I have gotten a lot of questions as to what else can you do with kale. It has been a while since I was part of one of those veggie co-ops, but I do remember there was a lot of kale and other greens during the early part of the year, and people were asking then how they could use it up. I thought about it and decided I would go and ask around as to what others do with their kale.
Before we talk about various uses though, let’s take a quick look at the vegetable. All you have to do is pick up a kale leaf and you can tell right away it is one of the hearties greens you can find. I mean, it is a thick and strong leaf that holds its shape without immediately sagging over. This alone tells you it will hold up well once cooked. It also is one of if not the fastest growing vegetable in terms of popularity. That’s because people are finding out how good it is for you. It is high in antioxidants and also a great cancer deterrent for the body, along with supplying all kinds of vitamins. Many nutritionists are calling kale one of the best super foods, as it is one of the healthiest veggies there is.
So, we know there are quite a few people that sauté it and serve it with bacon and eggs for breakfast. I have to say, I was taken by surprise at how many people, including Alisa, had some form of that dish for breakfast.
But, what else is there to use kale in? Remember how hearty it is. One thing Wink likes to do is add it to his minestrone soup. Awesome idea and it will add well to other soups and even stews. As for using kale as a side vegetable, it is in the same family as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, which you can prepare similarly. Quite a few people I asked said they simply sautéed it with a little butter or olive oil and garlic. A common way to serve Brussel sprouts is to blanch them and then sauté them with onions and bacon. I like sweet onions for that one to counter the slight bitterness of the veggies. This works great with kale, too, and you don’t need to boil first, just slowly let them wilt while sautéing before adding the bacon. A little lemon juice also goes great in that dish.
As for eating kale raw, many people told me they added it into salads. The thing was, probably half of them said they did this just to use up the kale and didn’t really like it so much. Of course, you don’t want to overpower the other greens and other items in your salad, so think; add for your taste buds and then use a dressing to compliment. If there isn’t much kale involved, go with your favorite dressing. If there is more kale, try adding fruit to the salad and maybe try a lemon or even citrus vinaigrette or a vinaigrette with some type of flavored sweetener like a maple vinaigrette.
As for the title smoothie, this came from Stevie K. He said at first he cut it with orange juice, yogurt, banana and pineapple. Should Rebecca read this though, he now makes it with water and omitted the orange juice, yogurt, banana and most of the pineapple. Steve also swears by using his bullet over a blender because he says it gets it a little smoother. Give it a try and enjoy.
Kale Breakfast Smoothie
1 T flax or Chia seeds (soaked for 15 minutes)
2 C water
1 kale leaf
1 small handful blueberries
1-2 slices pineapple
After soaking the flax or Chia seed for 15 minutes, blend the kale and seeds in the water. Add the fruit and blend smooth. It is about 50-50 kale to fruit. Freezing the fruit helps it from going bad and also will help make the drink cool, as well as help it blend smoother.