I was chatting with a fellow nutritionist friend of mine the other day, and the topic of kale came up. (Because when two nutritionists get together, what else do we talk about other than food and health? Right.) I found myself saying, “If I see another article online about the benefits of kale, I think I’ll gag.”
I quickly followed that with, “I’m going to write a post about kale…but mine’s gonna be DIFFERENT.”
So here we are.
Let me start by saying that I love kale. I really, really do. I’m just not going to tell you about its amazing nutritional benefits here, because if you do a simple search you’ll find a few dozen kale princesses and princes out there to tell you all about it. You know kale is good for you. You know it. So let’s move on.
I’m a true omnivore, and while I might partake in a kale-quinoa salad once or twice a year, I usually enjoy my kale with a side of steak. Some say kale is the new beef, but I say: Don’t make me choose sides. I love meat, and I love veggies. And you know what? They go so very, very well together.
From a digestion standpoint, meat shouldn’t really be eaten with starches and grains. It’s improper food combining. What does that mean exactly? Simply put, different types of foods (proteins, starches, fruit, etc) digest at different speeds, and they can sometimes get in the way of each other, creating traffic jam-like scenarios in our digestive tract. This equals gas, bloating, and other disturbances. So if you’re struggling with poor or sluggish digestion, this is something to seriously consider.
The other reason I don’t consider myself a typical kale princess is because I cook my kale more often than I eat it raw. You don’t have to eat raw kale in order to get the benefits! Sure, there’s some nutrient loss when you cook veg, but there’s also a lot to gain from it…
Firstly, during the winter months I generally advise against raw foods because they’re too cooling to the body at a time when we need warmth. Secondly, raw vegetables can be difficult to digest and some of them contain compounds you may need to be cautious about, depending on your body. Examples include oxalates and phytates which can impair mineral absorption, goitrogens which may affect thyroid function, and others. Cooking your veg will help to warm the body, reduce these compounds, and make digestion a whole lot easier. Am I saying not to enjoy salads? Of course not. Just maybe not every day during the winter…and in the meantime, it’s not a bad idea to learn about your digestion and what practices might benefit you specifically.
But back to kale.
Is it really the new beef? Nope, not for me. Does that stop me from enjoying it fully and wholeheartedly, though? Never!
I’ve been asked, “How do you make kale taste good?” So I hereby present you with:
Here’s What You Need:
2+ TBSP coconut oil or other saturated fat (ghee, lard, etc)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6+ cups of roughly chopped kale
2 or 3 cloves crushed garlic (or more or less, depending on your preference)
2-3 TBSP liquid of choice: chicken stock, bone broth, Bragg liquid soy seasoning, gluten free tamari sauce, or coconut aminos (please do NOT use conventional soy sauces which contain GMO soy and additives like wheat, caramel colour, sodium benzoate, etc)
Here’s What You Do:
Crush/mince your garlic and set aside. Heat your pan to medium and add a generous amount of fat/oil. Slice the onions. Once the oil is melted and warm, add the onions to the pan and saute lightly until softened. Chop and wash your kale during this time. The kale doesn’t need to be chopped very finely at all – remember that it cooks down! Begin adding handfuls of it to your pan and stirring around. Once the kale is slightly wilted, mix in the garlic, add liquid, stir, and cover. Allow to steam for 1-2 minutes. You may need to add a little extra water/liquid to create more steam. It does not take long to wilt down, so check it after a minute and be careful not to forget about it. Serve warm, with a side of grass fed steak and mushrooms. This should be enough to serve two people who love kale.
How do you like your kale? What’s your take on the ‘kale is the new beef’ mantra?
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