Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cooking with Fall Greens: The Health Benefits of Kale

Fall is here and with it rich greens like kale, spinach, arugula, and spicy mustard greens -- all of which can be grown in your fall garden! Greens add flavor and color to meals, as well as necessary nutrients to support optimal health.

Kale, for example, is a rich source of antioxidants, including carotenoids and flavonoids, which may help protect the body from the effects of oxidative stress*. Dr. Weil includes a useful definition of oxidative stress on his website here.

Kale also may support the body's natural detox process.* Its sulfur compounds are thought to support Phase II detoxification - the step in which toxins in the liver are turned into neutral substances, making them easier to eliminate from the body.

Plus, it's tasty eaten raw or added to cooked meals. We like to saute our kale with onions, garlic, olive oil, and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg. >> Download this kale recipe and a recipe for baked kale on ACHS Facebook (facebook.com/ACHSedu) here

Have tips for growing leafy greens like kale in your fall garden? Post them here! We'd also invite you to share your favorite kale recipes - variety is the spice of life!

*This information has not been reviewed by the FDA. It is intended for educational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. Before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine, it is always best to consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor.


Long Beach Herbalist said...

Kale chips! SO easy! Preheat oven to 250 (many people make them in a dehydrator, but it's a bother to get mine out, so the oven is better for me. Dehydrate is an option, though, using your own methods).
Tear a bunch of kale or collards into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle a few tbsp of olive oil over, then a half teaspoon or so of salt, 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, a bit of cayenne, and whatever other seasonings strike your fancy.
Place on large cooking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, turn over, and return to oven for another 5 minutes or so. You do NOT want them to burn, just get crispy. Let cool, and store in a large airtight container (I keep them in 1/2 gallon canning jars--looks gorgeous.

Long Beach Herbalist said...

Ooh! OOh! OOH! Another favorite kale recipe: This one is wonderful of you have caramelized onions on hand. If not--well, you really should always have caramelized onions on hand.
Saute kale in olive oil until tender, then add a large spoonful or two of caramelized onions (see? Imagine how much longer this recipe would be if you didn't have them available), a handful of chopped walnuts, and a dollop of maple syrup. Remove from heat, place in a bowl, and go hide in the closet and eat it all yourself. Oh, it's fine, fine stuff.

Anonymous said...

I never cook my kale, so as to keep ALL the nutrients in tact. I juice it, and make kale salads sprinkled with cumin, onion, hempseed, and sesame seed oil... YUM!