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Germany: Kale rediscovered: healthy greens in smoothies and saladsMany people know kale only from hearty, savoury dishes with Kasseler and Mettwurst. However, this curly cabbage has much more to offer. For an exotic side dish it is steamed with shallots and refined with fresh coconut flakes, some ginger, coriander and fennel. Kale also tastes good, quickly blanched, in a salad with olives, nuts and a spicy dressing.
Kale chips present a healthy snack. For this, the cabbage is cut into bite-sized pieces, washed and dried in a salad spinner. Then make a marinade with olive oil, salt and some chili powder and turn the leaves carefully. The chips are baked on a baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes at 130 degrees Celsius. Open the oven for a moment during baking, so the water vapor can escape.
Try kale as a drink. Put the vegetable in a blender with banana, orange and ginger, and it becomes a refreshing smoothie that combines sweet and tart aromas. At the same time, the drink provides the body with valuable ingredients. Kale has a high content of provitamin A, B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin E, K and C and minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron compared to other vegetables. Then there are fibers and phytochemicals such as flavonoids and mustard oil glycosides.
In German, kale has many names. It is a cabbage with mostly dark green, strongly curled leaves, which sit with powerful leafstalks on a single stem. Before preparation, the individual leaves are cut from the stem and the thick central ribs are removed. Then wash the leaves thoroughly, tear them into strips or cut them into pieces.
Until March, consumers will find fresh produce from German soil. Pay attention to quality when shopping. The leaves should look crisp and must have a rich green color. Often pre-cut goods are available in 1 kg plastic bags. In your cooled vegetable compartment, this ‘domestic superfood’ can be kept for a few days. In general, kale should be cooked gently, so that the valuable vitamins and minerals remain.
By the way: we are told again and again that kale tastes really good when the leaves were exposed to frost or very low temperatures. Only then some of the starch has converted into sugar. However, sugar is formed from the starch steadily with the help of sunlight, via the energy metabolism of the plant. The longer the kale matures, the more sugar is formed. During frost or low temperatures, the metabolism slows down, but sugar is stored further in the leaves. The combination of low temperatures and a longer time on the field led to the assumption that frost is necessary for an excellent taste. In newer varieties with finer leaves and higher sugar contents, this connection is now much less important.
Publication date: 1/4/2018
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