I’m sure many of you have already heard about the proven benefits of kale when it comes to eating healthily, so I’m not going to list them all here. Instead I want to focus on how we use kale at Bridges, and also at home when preparing dishes for the family after a busy and hectic day.
Kale is a popular vegetable, a member of the cabbage family, related to cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts. So when I bribe my children saying ‘only after you've finished your cabbage’, they know they have a choice. They normally choose kale, feeling “how lenient my mum is” because they are used to the green juices or stir-fries that they are exposed to frequently at home.
Throughout the year Bridges has beautiful deliveries of curly kale (or Scots kale) that we use a lot in juicing. Next time when you order your green juice, look at it being put in the juicer and you will see how much kale is needed in just one glass of our apple, carrot and kale juice. And think of all the vitamins you are getting in one tasty hit!
So, for busy parents and carers, if you are at home and have 5 minutes, put your favourite ingredients in the juicer with a lot of curly kale - just a single cup of kale has an impressive 600%+ RDA of Vitamin K, 200%+ of Vitamin A, 130%+ of Vitamin C. It also contains calcium & iron, which is a bonus to me having a child who is not keen on dairy products nor meat. Not only that, it only has a total of 33 calories!
Of course, (depending on the type of juicer you have) juicing can reduce the amount of fibre and nutrients consumed as there may be wastage from the pulp that is extracted by some juicers. Therefore, here is a simple stir-fry recipe - a firm family favourite - with one cup of curly kale and nothing wasted.
Stir-Fry Bean Sprouts and Kale with Fresh Garlic and Chilli
300g of fresh bean sprouts, washed
1 cup of chopped leaves of curly kale (steamed for 2 mins)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 fresh red chilli, chopped
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of soy sauce
Optional: chopped spring onion & sesame oil.
Heat the oil in a wok, put in the minced fresh garlic and chilli, add the bean sprouts and stir fry quickly. Add the soy sauce within 2 mins and fry for another minute. Put in the steamed kale and mix while turning the heat off. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle on spring onions & sesame oil (optional) for a more appetising look and smell. Enjoy!
Remember it’s a quick cook recipe; the steaming and frying can be done at the same time. As kale has lots of fibre, it’s not ideal to use it in raw salad. Short steaming the kale is important, not only to make it chewable, but is proven to dramatically increase the bile acid binding effect, lowering cholesterol levels which is good for your heart.
We don't want to think of food as medicine, but it does have medicinal effects without us knowing. As most of us do, our focus is on the taste, health benefits and ease of preparation. I must say this one is top of my list of nutritious meals to whip up quickly, so we can enjoy more time together as a family!