Stuff I Swear By - Kale

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Mmmmm, leeeeaaafffy greeeeeens.....

Okay, I know not everyone shares my passion for a head-sized bowl of plain ol' steamed kale, and I'm okay with that. But if you find yourself running in the other direction at the thought of this amazing and much-maligned vegetable, please slow down a sec, Sam-I-Am, and hear what I have to say about it.

It's good for you. Yes, I know I sound like your mother. But here are some specifics:

Kale, like other dark leafy greens, contains chlorophyll. You know that, um, BO problem you're having? Anything more offensive than natural sweat is usually a sign of toxicity in the digestive tract. Same with bad breath. Chlorophyll neutralizes the odor. (Wonder why that sprig of parsley is sitting on your plate at a restaurant dinner? Cleanses the palate after eating... more conducive to after-dinner smooching!)

Kale contains:

  • blood-enhancing iron
  • cancer-preventing phytonutrients
  • pro-vitamin A (which I just learned can actually help prevent the adverse effects of smoking or being around smokers)
  • vitamin C for immunity and protection against rheumatoid arthritis
  • lots o' calcium (great for vegans or lactose-intolerant folks!)
  • vitamin E which can help to slow loss of mental function.
  • Oh, and fiber! Gotta have the fiber...

The iron and calcium content, by the way? Great for relieving some PMS and menstrual symptoms...just saying....

Kale is a hardy vegetable, meaning it loves a little frost. This gives it a bit of a sweet flavor (when grown in the north). I learned this little tidbit while watching my Florida-dwelling mom cook the crap out of a pot of kale, and she told me it would taste bitter otherwise. Ahh, the stuff grown down south would, because it's not kissed by that bit of frost. (And surprisingly, her overcooked kale with a ton of garlic was quite tasty, but that's the magic of my mom..)

How I eat it: Like I said, lightly steamed, and with a splash of olive or flax seed oil, and gomashio (a condiment made of crushed toasted sesame seeds and sea salt). I also chop it up and add it to soup, stir-fries, my kids' beloved ramen, on boat with a goat, in the rain on a train...

You're a raw foodie? It can prepared thusly as well...the exact recipe escapes me, but I remember some marinating in olive oil, lemon juice and a little cayenne being involved. I'll have to search for that recipe. It's a bit tough to break down otherwise without the marinating or steaming. (I have thrown it in my juicer too, with carrots and apples...)

Already a fan? Join the club! And if you're not, (yet) read more. Or better yet, just taste some! Go on, it's good for you!

Other stuff I swear by:

My Caddie Knife

Nettle Tea

Ayate Washcloth

Kale Chips