Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kale: The Superfood

I’m baaaack!

I have been on a little hiatus because after eliminating sugar from my diet, baking has become pure torture! I have been struggling for the last two months on what to do with this blog because I am so passionate about blogging, baking, and cooking in general. So I spent a lot of time debating on whether to just blog about desserts when I make them for events or houseguests, help people become more health conscious with some of the information I have learned over the last year, create healthy versions of my favorite desserts, or stop blogging altogether.

I have concluded that I want to recreate the blog to be about food, plain and simple. So we have a new look and a new name! Virtually Everything Sweet just did not work with what I was trying to do. So the new name is Sweet Treats n’ Good Eats. Who says I can’t have the best of both worlds?

The definition of a superfood is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. I have been incorporating more superfoods and fiber rich foods into my diet. One of the items I have truly come to enjoy is kale. Kale is a great source of beta-carotene, which is one of the antioxidants believed to prevent cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. With it being rich in fiber, it promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation and lowers blood sugar.

Kale’s dark leaves are also rich in calcium and are a good source of Vitamins A, C, folic acid and iron. Be aware that kale does present risks for people taking certain types of prescription drugs. Blood-thinners such as warfarin work by lowering vitamin K levels, and since kale is extremely high in Vitamin K, people on anti-coagulant medication should avoid it. (Yeager, 2007).

Kale is great as a salad, as a side or even as a chip. For those who are not huge fans of kale, you can dress it up by adding bacon bits, nuts, garlic…whatever tickles your fancy.

Sauteed Kale

1 1/2 pounds fresh kale
1 c fresh spinach, optional
2 tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of Kosher salt, ground pepper, paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
½ small yellow onion
¼ c chicken stock

Clean kale and rough chop it. Add olive oil to a sautee pan and heat on medium. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.

Add kale; sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and red pepper flakes. Add chicken stock and cook just until wilted. Overcooking kale may result in a bitter taste as well as cause it to lose some of the essential nutrients.

If you are one to walk a little on the wild side, you can try a kale salad.

Kale Salad

1 1/2 pounds kale
2 tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of Kosher salt, ground pepper
½ small red onion
1 small apple, cut into small chunks
¼ c roasted almonds
¼ c golden raisins
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place ingredients in a large bowl. Massage ingredients well for about 3-5 minutes, until thoroughly mixed. Serve.

All photographs are actual pictures of the recipe listed, prepared by Sweet Treats 'n Good Eats, and cannot be used without the owner’s consent.

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