Ok, so I’m ready to glow for Summer! With the support of my loving husband who has seen much green fly around this kitchen lately, he might actually think I have gone Kale Krazy, but I have a result which will benefit all of us. I am going to publish them in stages, otherwise there might be some kale backlash in our household! You could prepare a couple of these recipes over the course of the week to ensure you are topped up with your recommended dose of greens!
Tip: How to shop for and prepare kale. Always look for rich deep bluish-green leaves, never yellow or with holes in them. There are many different shapes and varieties out there. The younger or smaller leaves taste better. You can consume the stems, however in some recipes the texture is better to remove them. Never store in fridge pre-washed, wash as you use it. It is preferable to eat within 2-3 days of buying however 5 days is usually fine. To wash, fill up a bowl or your salad spinner with warm water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or another acid based product like apple-cider vinegar and leave for 5-10 minutes then rinse. To discard tough stems, cut out in a V shape style.
1. Kale smoothie (serves 2). This is a perfect pick me up or breakfast on the go, its delicious and filling as well. You can substitute dairy for non-dairy ingredients too. If you want to make this for children, it is better to use the dark berries that hide the kale, and exclude the flax seeds. Oh and one tip, check teeth immediately afterwards!
Ingredients – Two options (one is non-dairy and the other dairy)
1 cup coconut milk / 1 cup of organic milk
1 banana frozen chopped
3-4 Kale leaves chopped (must strip leaves, remove stems and wash well). I also prefer using a non-curly variety for this one.
1/2 cup packed mixed blackberries and blueberries (or any combination; raspberries, strawberries etc).
1/3 cup coconut yoghurt / organic plain yoghurt optional
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup to taste
2-3 teaspoons of flaxseed
1. Blend all ingredients together in food processor or powerful blender
2. Crunchy kale pesto (serves 6 portions approx). I have to make this every week as my toddler loves it! He thinks he is eating ‘green caterpillars’ as I add them to spiral pasta. It is dairy free so you can add shaved parmesan afterwards if you like that extra rich flavour. We all enjoy this family favourite and I feel good knowing my son has stuffed himself with green goodness.
2 1/3 cups kale or 1 big bunch of kale (choose any variety or a combination).
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pine nuts
Lemon zest from half a lemon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 small cloves garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Once hot, place sunflower seeds and pine nuts on a tray and roast for 3-5 minutes and remove.
2. Chop kale and use leaves only which have been separated from the stem. Cut in a crosswise direction, roughly chopped. You do not need to pre-wash with this recipe.
3. Fill a bowl with iced water. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch kale for one minute only and then drain and place directly into iced water. Once cooled, drain and dry kale with paper towel.
4. Add half of the kale, half the pine nuts and sunflower seeds, lemon juice, zest, garlic, sugar, salt and half the olive oil to a food processor to finely mix. Once mixed through, add remaining ingredients and process again
5. Add remaining oil, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and process again until fine throughout.
Note: Variations can include substituting half a cup of kale for half a cup of fresh oregano leaves which is wonderful too!
Serving suggestion:- Spiral pasta mixed through pesto with cracked black pepper and more lemon as desired.
Presto! Perfect crunchy pesto ready to eat; can be mixed through pastas, spread on bread toasted bruschetta style with roasted tomatoes, as a side with breakfast or brunch recipes. Store in refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Ok, so back to the kitchen with my kale to work on the next few…Enjoy!