I was shopping at Locavore yesterday, my favourite shop for all things seasonal, locally grown and organic and I bought a lovely bunch of one of my favourite, healthiest and most versatile of veggies! You've probably guessed its kale, a true superfood and worthy of the title! Its simply packed with all manner of wonderful health promoting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fibre and protein and its well worth including in your diet. I use it all year round and grow my own in the summer.
Faith and Grace, my wee ex battery chickens absolutely love kale so I have to share it with them but I figure that we all benefit since their eggs are extremely nutritious! Oddly enough they don't like broccoli, brussel sprouts or savoy cabbage but they love spring greens! I bought them a brussel sprout tree for their Christmas last year and they wouldn't even try it! I was most disappointed, I thought they would love it! They'll just be getting a big bunch of kale this year!
Anyway back to the kale, its so versatile; I juice it, add it to smoothies, steam it, stir fry it, add it to soups, massage it with oil and have it raw in winter salads and of course make kale crisps with it!
It never ceases to amaze me that a vegetable as nutritious as kale can be transformed into the most delicious, light and crispy crisps!
If you've never tried them, please give them a go, even kids love them!
They are so expensive to buy but so cheap and easy to make. My bunch of lovely organic kale cost £1 and I used a tablespoon of good organic Scottish Rapeseed Oil to add inflammation busting omega 3 fats. I decided to stick with the Scottish theme and seasoned mine with Mara seaweed flakes to add fantastic flavour, loads of minerals and boost my detoxification pathways, always beneficial at the weekend when wine is being consumed! I always like to give my body a wee helping hand because I love it and appreciate what an incredible job it does every minute of the day, keeping me healthy, energised and well!
So back to the seaweed, although it adds a fantastic salty flavour, it only contains 10% sodium instead of 98% in normal salt. So pay attention all of you with high blood pressure and start using seaweed instead of salt for big health benefits!
The other two seasonings I love are Pink Himalyan Sea Salt, quite rightly known as the king of salts, due to the 82 trace minerals it contains, all of which your body can use! Remember table salt is just sodium chloride usually with added anti caking agents and should only be used for clearing the snow and ice from your driveway! It has no benefit for your health and excess sodium is linked with high blood pressure which is linked to an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks! Bear in mind that it is always the cheapest salt which is added to processed foods which is just sodium. If we want cheap food then the food industry will provide it but at what cost to our health?
So always make the best choice for your health, without it nothing else matters! Some things are worth paying extra for and best quality food always has been and always will be a priority for me.
Right, the other seasoning I use a lot and absolutely love is a macrobiotic condiment called Gomashio. Its just sesame seeds and himalyan sea salt, dry toasted to bring out the nutty flavour, then ground in a pestle and mortar. It adds the most delicious salty, nutty flavour and is packed full of calcium and magnesium, protein and good fats. You can buy it ready made but its so easy to make your own.
Simply dry toast 1 teaspoon of sea salt, preferably Himalyan but any quality sea salt will do.
Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine.
Add 18 teaspoons of sesame seeds to the pan, keep the heat medium and keep them moving with a wooden spatula to prevent them burning. Once they start popping, usually in a few minutes, transfer them to the pestle and mortar and grind them. You may have to do this in two batches. They don't have to be finely ground. Transfer to a glass jar with the salt and mix well. Voila a delicious, low sodium seasoning! We use it on steamed greens, brown rice balls, any stir fry or veggie dish.
BEST EVER KALE CRISPS
Okay back to the kale crisps, the mistake most people make is to bake them at too high a temperature and burn them, then they taste horrible and don't look good either! The ideal temperature I have discovered is 130C 260F. So here is the very simple recipe
1 large bunch of organic curly kale
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
Himalyan sea salt, seaweed flakes or gomashio to season
1. Preheat the oven to 130 C (260F)
2. Wash the kale leaves well, tear into bite sized pieces then
dry the leaves well in a salad spinner or dry with kitchen roll.
3. Place the kale in a large bowl, pour over the oil then massage the leaves well with your hands until the leaves are all well coated in oil.
4. Place the kale in a single layer on lightly greased baking trays. Sprinkle with your chosen seasonings.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the trays around, turn the oven off and leave in the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Add more seasoning if required, then eat them. Eat them all if you want to, they are so healthy and delicious or you can share them if you are feeling generous!
One wee note, kale baking in the oven doesn't smell great so these are not the best to make just before you are expecting visitors! They will keep in a tupperware for a few hours before they start to lose their crispness!
......your health in your hands......
A healthy lifestyle blog with green living tips, plant-based recipes and natural health magic.