Some of my favourite vegetables bring back fond childhood memories – memories of traditional Sunday roasts with compulsory brussel sprouts and weekend fish ‘n’ chips wrapped in newspaper with a side of mushy peas. Perhaps those memories are why I never tire of them after so many years. Thankfully though I’ve expanded my veggie variety over time to include those that I’d possibly not even have recognised as a child. One of those that springs to mind is kale. I think the first time I tried kale was as recent as 2013.
Although some of you may have been childhood adopters of kale I’ll take a guess that most of you, like me, have only recently experimented with kale. In line with the growth in the accessibility and affordability of kale the vegetable has also continued to grow it’s superfood reputation. It’s a reputation that’s well deserved given the health benefits of this leafy cruciferous vegetable. Kale is:
- High in fibre – which aids digestion and elimination and makes it a great part of a detox diet.
- High in omega 3 fatty acids – so it’s great for balancing your omega 3 to 6 ratios.
- Higher in calcium than milk per calorie – making it especially attractive to vegans.
- Rich in iron – a mineral that promotes cell growth, energy levels and liver functioning.
- Packed with vitamins – especially K (promotes bone health and normal blood clotting), A (important for vision and skin) and C (an immune system booster). I’ve read that one cup of chopped kale contains 206% of your daily requirement for vitamin A, 684% for vitamin K, and over 100% for vitamin C.
- Packed with protein – with 2 grams of protein per cup (67 grams).
- Full of antioxidants – which may play a role in protecting against cancer and inflammation.
With kale prices as low as $1 for a big bunch this Winter my fridge has boasted a plentiful supply of kale pesto. I like to use kale to make pesto because it keeps well for at least a week, during which time it becomes a versatile lunch or dinner addition. You can pair this pesto with eggs, spread it on toast, use it as salad (or pasta) dressing or simply serve it with grilled meat or fish.
The last time I made a batch I finally remembered to take some photos. So here I’m sharing the (very simple) recipe here. It’s vegetarian and vegan and provides a good dose of other health promoting ingredients, like garlic and apple cider vinger.
- 2 bunches of kale
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 150ml organic apple cider vinegar (or more)
- 150ml extra virgin olive oil (or more)
- 1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes (or fresh chilli)
- 2 tsp mustard (I use wholegrain or Dijon)
- Salt & pepper
Optional ingredients to experiment with: a handful of crushed almonds or walnuts, 1-2 tbsp olives or capers, 1 tbsp ground cumin or za’atar spice mix.
- Remove the kale leaves from the stalks.
- Wash and dry the leaves then add them into a large bowl.
- Throw in all of the other ingredients (apart from the olive oil).
- Process with a hand blender into a smooth texture as you gradually add the oil.
- Check the texture and add more vinegar and/or oil as required.
- Transfer to sterilised jars and keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks.
Serve with anything and everything………
Laura (Feast Wisely)
You may also like:
- Salsa verde with mint, basil & parsley
- Spicy plum sauce
- Spinach & feta cheese dip
- Sweet potato hummus (GF)