Friday, March 30, 2012

Kale? No thanks!

i recently received the following comment and thought I would share it with my blog's readers because it brings up a good point for discussion, the fact that kale and other Brassica vegetables do have a bitter taste to them.

*********
The taste of raw kale after blended, to me, is horrible; even when mixed
with fruit.  I thought it was something I was doing incorrectly, so I
blended the organic kale again by itself and the horrific level increase
to the point where, after taking the lid off of the blender to smell it,
the aroma burned my nostrils as well as my eyes.  After drinking the
juice/smoothie, I feel a bit nauseous.   However, eating raw organic kale does
taste far more pleasant than after blended its leaves.

I have only found one (1) instance of anyone telling the truth about how
bad kale tastes as a juice.

QUESTION:
Is this normal for Kale to taste so horrible after blending/juicing.
************


Well, I am here to tell you that the first time I heard about anyone putting kale in a smoothie, I thought they were kidding or desperate for some way to include kale 'hidden' in their food because I could not imagine kale 'adding' something pleasant to the taste of a smoothie. And I am someone who does not like smoothies that are too sweet, which they all were in the very beginning of the smoothie craze, way back when. In fact, I am known for putting raw or frozen unsweetened cranberries in my smoothies to cut the natural sweetness of fruit or juices. 


The first time I did put kale into a smoothie (I had to have my curiosity finally overcome my inclination that the combination would be just awful), I must confess right here for all to know that I was also overwhelmed by the 'kale effect', i.e. the nearly over-powering and rather unpleasant smell of kale, when I took the top off the blender. Perhaps my reaction is what the reader's comments referred to. 


However, not one to throw food away, and still very curious, I poured the smoothie into a glass and let it sit a bit, which helped to diminish and even disperse the strong smell immensely. I even had the courage to taste the smoothie at that point and found that yes, I could definitely taste kale, but it was not overpowering or unpleasant, just very green. This was a long time ago, and now I just know that 1) I do not inhale deeply when taking the top off of my blender and 2) to wait a bit before drinking my kale smoothie. 


Other tips I have found to help with this situation:
1) Use less kale
2) Use baby kale
3) Use lacinato kale (this variety must have a lower level of glucosinolates or contain some other compound that counteracts the known bitterness of glucosinolates)
4) Use lightly steamed and cooled kale (I have done this with plain, no oil added, unseasoned left-over kale, which does not happen very often)


What is likely going on here is related to the fact that chemicals and sensitivity to them works both ways. Plants contain bitter molecules to keep themselves from being eaten so they can fulfill their biological destiny, meaning not get chewed to bits by insects or other animals before they have reproduced (gone to seed). We detect bitter or other 'off' (think rancid) flavors to protect ourselves so that we also can fulfill our biological destiny to the species, i.e. reproduce! 


Genes are involved with our taste sensitivities and it is now known that people with two copies of a certain gene will be 'super-tasters', i.e. more likely than others to not just dislike, but outright reject eating certain plants that contain bitter or astringent molecules, which are contained in all Brassica vegetables.  An article describing the details of this phenomenon is here. Remember President Bush I and his famous dislike of broccoli? He was likely a 'super-taster' with two copies of these particular genes involved with tasting bitterness. 


I hope this short response answers your question. I have tried to be as truthful as I know how, both professionally and personally. 


Where kale is more than decoration on my plate and is still in my smoothies, too!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Kale for a 'Kause'

Actually it is a Kalefest! In Santa Cruz on March 31, 2012, and yes it is for a good cause, a fund-raiser for the Homeless Garden Project. Admission is $5 and will include a kale recipe contest and a contest for the best kale bunch among other activities!

Here is the description of The Homeless Garden Project. If I lived anywhere near Santa Cruz, I would be there!

The Homeless Garden Project, founded in 1990, provides job training and transitional employment to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The programs offer trainees an opportunity to rebuild and develop basic life skills and a sense of worth as human beings. The Homeless Garden Project brings together people from throughout the community in the beauty and security of their certified organic garden, teaches principles of economic and ecological sustainability through classes and hands-on experience, and provides homeless men and women job training and transitional employment.


Does anyone else know of other festivals dedicated to kale? I like the fact that this festival is also a fund-raiser for a very worthy community-based need.

Hmmm, kale, garlic, kale AND garlic, yummm, ideas are always floating and percolating in the back of my mind.........and on my tastebuds! :) :)

Kale is definitely more than decoration on the plate at this KaleFest!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Even Starbucks Loves Kale!

It was just a matter of time before Starbucks expanded the pie, so to speak. According to this article, Starbucks has bought a company called Evolution Fresh, which specialized in smoothies and made-to-order freshly-squeezed juices, including, of course, kale! The first store is in Bellevue, WA, just east of Seattle.

Guess where I am going the first week of April? Yep, Seattle, for a short vacation before the growing season kicks into high gear (i.e., non-stop) for the next 8-9 months. I think I'll check out what may eventually make its way to the Midwest. The price of these drinks is enough to make them a special treat for me though, as spending $5-8 for a drink like this on a daily basis would be a budget-buster.

I think I'll order one with 4 straws, but I would be delighted to see something like this in airports. Oh, I momentarily forgot that I'm farming full-time now and rarely in airports anymore! Still, if these drinks are not too sweet, they could be a great delicious and healthy alternative to the typical sugar-sweetened soda that is so ubiquitous in airports and everywhere.

In the meantime, whip up your own smoothie or juice at home. I've given you the basics for DIY healthy smoothies with kale, for pennies on the dollar, too.

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate - now it comes with a straw!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cross-post -- getting close to 'launch'

I don't cross-post very often from my other blogs, but here is the scoop. I am getting close to having all my blogs and website (thus my brain!) under one umbrella at www.dianadyer.com.

No worries - if only kale brings you to my blogs, you will continue to only see those posts or that 'feed'.

Here is what I wrote on my dianadyer blog this morning. Now off for a break, getting outside to enjoy our spring weather (70's in the upper Midwest, even tho' it is still officially winter!), decide where my kale will be planted, get a bed ready for that, finish getting some more bluebird houses up, etc. etc. :)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Eat More Kale!

What can I say that this video doesn't say better? :) I wish I knew how to correctly spell the kale leaf's feelings about the eggplant!

The gauntlet has been thrown down in the form of a very talkative kale leaf!

Eat More Kale! Yes, what's next?

Where kale is still more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recipe: Baked Sweet Potato-Kale Falafel

So much kale, so many ways to adapt other recipes! Here is one where I easily substituted baby kale for spinach. Not that I don't love fresh spinach, but I prefer spinach where its sweet and distinctive taste can be highlighted and appreciated.

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Kale (Recipe adapted from 101cookbooks.com)


Yield: made about 30 patties (3-5 falafel per serving)

Ingredients: 

• 2 medium sweet potatoes (I baked 4 so I will have extra to use later in the week)
• 1 teaspoon dried cilantro (could also use ~3/4 cup fresh cilantro - or parsley if you have family members who are particularly sensitive to, i.e. really dislike!, the taste of cilantro, like my husband)
• 4 cups loosely packed fresh kale leaves (without any thick stems - use entire leaf if using baby kale)
• 4-6 cloves garlic or more to taste, peeled
• 1-1/2 cup garbanzo beans (~ 1-15 ounce can, well drained)
• 1 Tbsp. flour (I used whole wheat flour, you do not want the mixture to be 'wet')
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
• Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
• Salt - just a pinch
• Ground black pepper - just a few grinds
• 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
• About 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions: 

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pierce sweet potatoes several times. Place on a sheet of aluminum foil and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until just cooked but still firm. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh. Recipes101.com's directions said to discard the skins. No, no! Please either compost or feed to your dog!
2. Combine sweet potatoes, cilantro, kale, garlic, garbanzo beans, flour, cumin, coriander, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor or blender; process until well mixed. The texture can be somewhat chunky or smooth, depending on your preference.
3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, allowing flavors to blend and mixture to become firm.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees as you begin Step 5. Lightly oil a baking sheet or use parchment paper. Remove sweet potato mixture and check its consistency. It should be sticky but not wet. If necessary, add a few more teaspoons of flour.
5. Using a spoon or your hands, form about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a ball. With the back of a spoon, flatten the ball into a thin disk with a concave top (I did not bother with this). Place on the baking sheet. Repeat for desired amount of servings, about 3-5 patties per person. (Extra sweet potato mixture can be refrigerated as long as several days and baked as needed or bake it all now, which is what I did, and then use left-overs for meals later in the week or freeze for much later use)
6. Brush each disk lightly with olive oil. Lightly sprinkle sesame seeds on top. If a crunchier texture is desired, turn disks over and sprinkle seeds on the other side as well, then turn again so the concave side faces up (I did not bother with this extra step).
7. Bake until bottoms are golden brown, 20-30 minutes (set timer for 20 minutes then keep checking the bottoms.) Centers should still be moist.
8. Serve inside pita pockets, topped with tomatoes (fresh if in season or use dried), lettuce, spinach, or shredded cabbage, tahini, plain yogurt, or other vegetables and sauces of your choice.

Special note: Make sure that the cilantro/parley and kale leaves are dried well before adding them to the food processor.

(Photo: Baked Sweet Potato-Kale Falafel with flat pita bread, shredded cabbage, plain yogurt sprinkled with sumac, topped with picked (oops correction - that should be pickled!) whole garlic scapes - yum, yum!!)
Later in the week, I used some of the remaining falafel patties crumbled on top of a warm salad: warmed up left-over brown rice topped with shredded greens, olives, other bits of left-over vegetables, and crumbled falafel patties. Pour a dressing made from a combination of olive oil, vinegar, and a small amount of yogurt over all. Easy and delicious fast food. :)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Recipe: Blueberry Kale Smoothie

This blueberry kale smoothie recipe is yet another variation on the basic recipe I posted earlier. The blueberries offer a strong pairing with kale, both providing a color other than the basic 'swamp-like green' and a smell that actually smells like blueberries instead of a Brassica vegetable! It is beautiful and delicious, but full disclosure here, kale wins in the end. If you have extra and then let this mixture sit around (like storing in the refrigerator), it helps to remember before you open that refrigerator door hours later or the next day that mixing blue and green paint together surely must make some shade of brown because that is what this smoothie will look like! Instead of 'swamp green', we now have 'swamp brown'. The taste is still delicious as my older son and daughter in law will attest. Nothing was left over this morning. It was all consumed with no left-overs!

3/4 cup plain unflavored soymilk
1 cup 100% pear juice
8-10 baby carrots
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp. flaxseeds
1 Tbsp. wheat germ
1 Tbsp. oat bran
2 cups baby kale

Mix together in the blender, starting slowly than on high until fully blended. Timing will vary depending on the oomph of your blender.

(Photo: this kale decoration was only for the photo op and was put into the bag to be added into tomorrow's smoothie!)

Good taste, good health!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Recipe: Garbanzo Beans and Kale on Rice

Any fresh, leafy greens could be substituted here, depending on what is in season and what you like, from spicy escarole to delicate spinach. Serve over a bed of whole grains with some crusty bread to sop up any delicious broth still left on your plate or in your bowl. 


Ingredients: 
Brown rice (I start this in my rice cooker about an hour before we want to eat)
2 center-cut bacon slices
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more only if your family likes things 'spicy!')
1 - 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (I usually use vegetable broth, but this time I used some home-made chicken broth and yes, it was delicious!)
1/2 cup water
1 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
4 cups chopped fresh kale (remove from thick stems and chop - our dog loves to eat the kale stems or I save them to make vegetable broth)
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
4 lemon wedges (optional)
Directions:
1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon, and crumble. Add 1 cup carrot and chopped onion to drippings in pan, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, and red pepper; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken broth, 1 cup water, and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add 4 cups kale to bean mixture. Cover and simmer for 2-5 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally. 
3. Ladle some of the rice or other grains into a bowl or onto a plate. Add a hefty scoop (about 1 1/4 cups) of the bean mixture on top of the grain, and then top each serving with 2 tablespoons yogurt. Sprinkle with bacon, and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Makes 3-4 servings, depending on what else you serve with the meal. For us, it made 2 nice-sized dinner servings with enough left over for one lunch serving. 
We only eat bacon as an infrequent and very special treat. I knew we had some delicious locally-produced bacon in the freezer. Again, just like using chicken broth in this recipe, topping the dish with just a few pieces of crumbled bacon was the perfect final taste touch. Even though the final dish was just at the edge of spiciness for my husband, the added bacon made him smile and gave him a contented feeling. :)

This recipe was eaten before photos could be taken. It is a simple but complete and a delicious, delicious dinner. Instead here is a great image to help us all remember to eat our locally-grown greens from FarmerPal's Facebook page:
Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Roasted Potato Kale Curry




What to eat? What do I have on hand? Kale - yes. Potatoes - yes. Onion - yes. Garlic - yes. Spices - yes, in abundance. How to combine them in something easy to put into the oven that I can cook while my attention is elsewhere? Aha! Roasting - my husband loves the smell and taste and texture of roasted food - and who doesn't?

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced (or 1/4 teaspoon powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8 cups kale, rinse well, remove large thick stems and chop (a medium chop is ok, 1-2 inches)
  • 4 medium to large potatoes, peeled (or not - I did not) and thinly sliced (1/8-1/4 inch, thinner will take less time to cook all the way through)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a large non-stick oven proof skillet over medium heat. (I used my large cast iron skillet for steps 1-3.)
  2. Add onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Saute until onion is softened.
  3. Add kale and saute until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Take off heat.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F. (I did this before I started chopping the vegetables)
  5. Arrange 1/3 of the thinly sliced potatoes on the bottom of a medium cast-iron skillet, overlapping so that none of the skillet is showing through.
  6. Spread 1/2 of the kale mixture over the potatoes.
  7. Arrange the next 1/3 of the potatoes over the kale mixture, making sure to overlap again.
  8. Spread the remaining kale mixture and top with the last batch of thinly sliced potatoes.
  9. Press down with a wide spatula until nice and compact.
  10. Pour olive oil over top.
  11. Bake in pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  12. Cut into wedges and serve.
I did not take a picture of this because it was not 'pretty'. Next time I think I need to slice the potatoes even thinner or use more of them to achieve the 'over-lapping' effect that would produce a beautiful dish. However, do not let looks deceive you. This was SO GOOD that my husband and I simply ate the entire thing for a late night supper last night with a good beer or glass of wine. We were overwhelmingly content. This combination is food for the soul, in addition to being downright delicious. 

Note: As my husband tried to figure out the spices I used, he was pleasantly surprised to hear what they were because none of them were overwhelming. So, while each of them may look like a lot, together they produce a warm and comforting flavor, nothing that says "Hello, curry here, in spades!". 

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Here comes Kohlrabi!

Will kohlrabi, another vegetable that belongs in the super-star group of Brassicas, be the next kale? Have you heard of it? Have you seen one and not known what it was? Have you received one in a CSA box of vegetables and not known what to do with it, other than maybe laugh at how funny it looks?

Apparently I have not taken any photos of the bulb growing above ground to which these leaves are attached (or I have not yet labeled it in my burgeoning file of digital photos!), but here you can see the beautiful leaves (use them just like other greens) and a package of kohlrabi seeds I was given at a seed exchange one year.



Well, thank the New York Times, which is going to help you out with a series of recipes this week featuring kohlrabi. Hop on over to this link to get started. Bon appetit!


Where kale (and kohlrabi) are more than decoration on my plate!


Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Sunday, March 4, 2012

14 Kale Recipes - how to choose??

I bought a large bunch (or so it seemed at the time) of baby Red Russian kale at our farmers' market yesterday. After a friend sent me this link to 14 kale recipes in Cooking Light, I am going to be very selective about which one I choose to make first because they all look delicious and I don't (currently) have enough kale to make more than a few!

I'm going to start with Garbanzo Beans and Kale tonight, since I also bought some of my favorite bread, a buckwheat baguette from CafĂ© Japon, at the market, too, which the recipe suggests using to mop up the scrumptious sauce. This sounds like a plan since there is no sense in putting anything scrumptious down the drain or in the compost pile!

I'll post photos later of the kale I bought and the recipe. There is still time for all of you to run to the grocery store if needed for supper ingredients, so I'll sign off and keep busy getting those Sunday chores done. :)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Research: 1-2 Punch

Earlier this week I re-posted some research done at Oregon State University showing consumption of broccoli sprouts versus a broccoli-derived dietary supplement demonstrated higher levels of various cancer-fighting compounds in urine plus lower levels of a biomarker (histone deacetylase) for cancer promotion activity in a type of blood cell (both were good outcomes associated with consumption of the broccoli food compared to the dietary supplement).

Additional research reported recently from Oregon State University has now shown a second biological mechanism by which Brassica derived compounds may help reduce cancer risk. Both of these biological processes are being studied by scientists interested in an area of study called 'epigentics', a body of knowledge that is increasingly understood these days.

I like to think of epigenetics this way. Our genes (DNA) are similar to the keys of a piano, they are what we are born with and cannot change. They are there within each of cells in a certain order and quantity, period, like those piano keys are fixed in a certain order. In the past, it was thought that 'we are our DNA', and thus we were individually 'fated' to have certain diseases or die from one at a relatively pre-determined time frame. However, to expand that metaphor, epigenetics is 'how we play those keys', meaning science has learned there are molecules that actually sit on top of (thus the prefix 'epi') our genes and are the actual factors determining how our genes are expressed or suppressed (i.e., it is not good to have a gene that functions as a 'tumor suppressor' not be expressed, in essence be suppressed!). 

Aha! Are you thinking 'we are what we eat'? I hope so, because epigenetics gives better understanding and real meaning to that expression. :) Here is where you can read more about epigenetics, as described by  Rodney Dashwood, PhD, one of the researchers doing this research at Oregon State University whom I have met through my association with The American Institute for Cancer Research where I donate proceeds from the sale of my book A Dietitian's Cancer Story). 

This new research from OSU clearly shows two biological mechanisms, epigenetic factors derived from molecules contained in broccoli and other Brassica vegetables, that help to explain the reduced cancer risk associated with increased consumption of this family of vegetables. One-two punch! Of added benefit, many times these processes not only 'talk to each other' as appears to be the case here, but often this 'cross-talk' can result in a synergistic outcome, meaning 1+1 actually equals 3, a larger outcome than if just one or the other mechanism was acting alone.

All of which translates to 'eat your veggies', eat a wide variety, eat a rainbow everyday, eat a wide array in all ways (raw, lightly cooked but not 'cooked to death' - wow - that expression suddenly has new meaning!).

However, please don't rely on kale or broccoli (or any one food) as a 'magic bullet' (you've heard me say this before) but enjoy all vegetables, including all the Brassicas, all fruits, all whole grains, all nuts and seeds, all beans and legumes, you get the idea, every day, in combination with each other. In my refrigerator right now I have: cauliflower soup (made yesterday), arugula, mustard greens, baby red russian kale, savoy cabbage, rutabaga (not in my refrig), which are easily enough Brassica vegetables to provide my husband and me with at least one serving/day for the entire week.

Between the cancer-fighting molecules in the Brassica vegetables and all the other vegetables, hopefully we are getting far more than a temporary one-two punch but a real knock-out against the various mechanisms leading to cell damage and deranged cell growth. No one lives forever of course, but we are certainly going to 1) give cancer a run for its money and better yet, 2) also enjoy the run! Yum, yum!

(Photo: Beautiful and delicious curly kale from Hand Sown Farm last fall!)
Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Friday, March 2, 2012

Roasted Squash and Kale Salad

This salad is a beautiful array of complementary colors, flavors and textures. There is roasted garlic to accentuate the sweetness of the roasted butternut squash combined with the tartness of lemony kale and red   onions along with a hint of sweetness from the fruit. 
Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad
1 medium butternut squash, peeled with a vegetable peeler, seeded and chopped into one-inch pieces (I used 4 cups of peeled, cut squash, which left some to use another time)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (I used 6 cloves)

1 tbsp olive oil
couple pinches of sea salt
3-4 large stalks curly kale, torn off thick stalk then thinly sliced (or just torn into small pieces) - about 4 cups
1/4 of a savoy cabbage head, cut into thin slices - about 2-3 cups (use more kale if you don't have this beautiful cabbage available)
3 tbsp lemon juice (fresh if available but bottled will work, too)
pinch of sea salt
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into rings (the last one from our Fall CSA share!)
1/2 cup blueberries (I used thawed frozen organic blueberries, picked last summer)
Dressing:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
dash sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp honey (maple syrup will also do if you are out of honey)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
In a medium bowl, combine butternut squash cubes with the oil, minced garlic and sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast at 350 degrees F. until fork-tender, but not falling apart (around 30-40 minutes).
Meanwhile, mix the kale, lemon juice and salt with your hands, massaging it together for a minute or so. It will wilt and reduce in volume. Add cabbage. 
Make dressing by whisking olive oil, vinegar, salt, honey, and mustard together. Pour over kale and cabbage, toss to coat.
When the butternut squash has finished roasting, remove from oven to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Add to kale and gently toss together. Add the red onion rings and toss again. Last, add the frozen blueberries or dried fruit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I made a full meal by pairing this salad with slices of roasted chicken and whole grain bread. 
This was enough salad for 3 generous main dish servings. Would easily serve 4-6 as a side salad. 

Photo: Peeled and cubed butternut squash with olive oil and chopped garlic, ready to roast - the garlic will make your kitchen smell wonderful!)

(Photo: Savoy cabbage, whole and sliced - the young clerk at the grocery store actually said "Euuu", meaning yuck when he picked it up to scan, telling me "It looks like a brain". I urged him to actually give it a try because it was beautiful when cut into ribbons and tasted great, too!)
(Photo: All ready to eat - can you see the red onions, the blueberries, the squash, the massaged kale and the ribbons of savoy cabbage? The roasted and sliced chicken is in the upper right corner of the photo. The bread is still in the oven because it was frozen and not quite ready yet - we used it at the end of the meal to mop up all of the delicious dressing on our plates.)

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Smoothie with Kale - Not just for St. Patrick's Day!

One of our blog readers recently posted a comment asking about cancer-fighting smoothie recipes. Whatever I said in response is, of course, buried in the archives, so I thought I would post up another smoothie recipe with added kale and other foods that have cancer-fighting molecules in them.

Here is a basic recipe that makes about 12 ounces or 1-1/2 cups, which can be one serving or two.

• 3/4 cup chilled unsweetened soy milk (or other non-dairy or dairy milk)
• 3/4 cup chilled juice (for these photos I used 100% pear juice)
• ~10 'baby carrots' (or wash and cut up one medium carrot into 1/2 inch chunks)
• 2 medium size kale leaves - strip leaves from the thick stem, tear into smallish pieces, which was about 2 cups of loosely packed kale leaves (I used the curly kale from the grocery store this time - I will try different varieties when I get to the farmers' market this coming weekend)
• 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
• 1 teaspoon honey or to taste (I prefer my smoothies to be less sweet than other people)

Put all into a blender, start slowly and then turn onto high, blending a minute or two until completely smooth, pour into a glass and enjoy!

PS - Our dog loves eating the kale stems!
PPS - There is a noticeable 'vegetable' smell when removing the top of the blender, which is not strong or 'objectionable' at all when actually drinking the smoothie.
PPS - I use organic ingredients everywhere possible.

(Photo: Kale Smoothie Ingredients, left to right: baby carrots, 100% pear juice, our honey, unsweetened soy milk,  flaxseed, kale leaves)
(Photo: Blender, kale smoothie from above ingredients)
(Photo: Kale smoothie from above ingredients, made the next day, different glass, different light)
(Photo: Kale smoothie, different glass)
With all the cancer-fighting foods combined in these smoothies, drink to your health and enjoy everyday, not just on the day when everyone is Irish and 'wearing the Green'!

Where kale is more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD