Friday, January 23, 2009

Try a Raw Kale Salad and a Raw Green Kale Smoothie!


Raw kale salad with carrots
Kale smoothie.


I must admit, I wasn’t introduced to kale until a few years ago. Growing up in an Italian home, I ate tons of vegetables at every meal – but unfortunately, not kale. Perhaps it was my mother’s preference for chard which she would sauté with some garlic, olive oil and black olives or throw in soups.


I think a lot of people may be strangers to kale. After all, the Dinosaur kale in the supermarket occasionally looks tough enough to resole the bottoms of your shoes. But don’t be deceived. This type of kale and other types, like green and red Russian kale, are wonderful to prepare in many ways. I’ll share 2 of my favorite healthy recipes with you. Of course, the freshest and the most tender kale comes out of your garden. Try growing it. It’s easy and grows well in the spring and fall in most parts of the country. In milder climates it even grows all winter. If you don’t have room, grow it in a pot. If my daughter can grow vegetables on her fire escape in Manhattan, anyone can have a little garden! My son and his wife replaced their entire front yard with raised beds full of vegetables. After all, if you can’t eat it, why grow it?


I was introduced to this wonderful vegetable at a raw food potluck. Then later, when I was doing research for my PhD in holistic nutrition, I discovered the nutritional importance of this food. It turns out that kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. For only 36 calories per cup of cooked kale (or 33 calories per cup of raw kale) you can get more than your daily requirement of vitamins K and A and almost ¾ of your vitamin C needs. It can also provide you with some very important B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate. Minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus are also well represented in this nutrient powerhouse. It is also a good source of vitamin E and the important omega 3 essential fatty acid. Kale gives you all this while providing a healthy dose of dietary fiber


Besides the impressive nutrient content, it contains important phytochemicals. Kale is categorized as both a leafy green vegetable and a cruciferous vegetable and BOTH are known to protect the body from cancer.


Here are a few of my favorite ways to prepare kale. The first is a raw, vegan salad and the other may be a surprise to you but it‘s great in your morning smoothie!


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Raw Kale Salad [serves 4 as a side dish]
This is a simple, easy to make, nutritious salad. It makes a big hit at family dinners and potlucks. Unlike lettuce, this salad does not wilt and get soggy so you can make it the day before. I actually think it tastes better the next day!

4 cups of shredded kale (dinosaur, red or green Russian or a mixture of all three)
2/3 cups of grated carrot

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T red onion, finely chopped

¼ t salt (or more to taste)

Dash of black pepper


Wash the kale well. Remove and discard the center stalk and thinly slice to get 4 packed cups of kale. Place the kale in a salad bowl. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and add to the kale, gently working it in with your hands to tenderize it. Add the grated carrots, chopped red onion and dash of pepper and mix well. Add additional salt if needed.


Per serving: 71.5 calories, 3.5 g of fat, .5 g of saturated fat, .25 g protein, 9.25 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber.


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Kale Smoothie
[serves 2]
Most people wouldn’t think of throwing greens in their breakfast drink but it’s a great way to get more veggies in your diet. I will be sharing many smoothie and soup recipes that require thorough blending. For this, I use a Vita-Mix, www.vitamix.com, and urge you to get a high speed blender of this quality. I use mine almost every day and have given one to each of my children who now have their own homes. They are pricey but well worth it. You can sometimes find them used or reconditioned.


2 large leaves of green kale

1 medium apple

1 small banana or ½ large banana

2 cups unsweetened soymilk (or nut milk for a raw, vegan version of recipe)

3 drops of stevia (or sweetener of your choice)

½ cup of crushed ice
Put all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.

Serve in two tall glasses and enjoy!


Per serving: 181.5 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g unsaturated fat, 7.5 g protein,
29 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

I love the kale soup recipe. It's become my go-to soup this winter. thanks!