Green Goodness Part 1: Steamed Kale
No matter what I’m cooking, or packing for my lunch, my plate and tupperware just don’t feel complete until there is a mound of green goodness to go along with the rest of my meal. Eating greens everyday, even at breakfast, is a superb way to make sure to keep your body’s chemistry on the alkaline side of the spectrum. Leafy greens also provide loads of vitamins A & K, calcium, and antioxidants.
I’m a fan of easy, healthy cooking, and so when it comes to greens, I like to keep it simple. One of my favorite ways to get more greens onto my plate is to make a pot of steamed kale. Steamed kale can be eaten simply as is, or you can dress it up with spices, dressings, olive oil or just a squeeze of lemon juice. I love how versatile yet accessible steamed kale is, it its a great addition to my tupperware for lunch at work. I always feel super nourished and healthy when my meal has a generous serving of greens.
Nutritional powerhouses like kale and other dark, leafy green often have a high level of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid binds to calcium and magnesium in order to be released from the body. It’s important to be aware of not consuming too much oxalic acid because it can contribute to kidney stones, and make it difficult to absorb calcium. Luckily you can have your kale, and eat it too! By lightly steaming kale you not only make it easier to digest, you also greatly reduce the levels of oxalic acid. Though oxalic acid levels are lower in kale than other leafy greens like spinach, beet greens, and chard, it’s still not a bad idea to steam your kale. Steaming also removes the bitterness of kale, and draws out its natural savory taste. Often I don’t even salt my kale because it tastes wonderfully savory plain and simple.
If you are looking for an easy way to get more greens into your diet, here is a simple recipe that you can embellish in countless ways:
Simply Steamed Kale
makes 2-4 servings
- 1 bunch of kale
- Clean the kale leaves by submerging them in a bowl of water. Dirt often gets in the curls of the leaves, so it’s important to give kale a good wash. Remove the leaves from the water, shake off the excess water, and set them on your cutting board or work surface.
- Tear the leafy parts away from the thick stems of the kale leaf, and discard the stems (or set aside for juicing). Pile the leafy parts onto your cutting board and coarsely chop the kale into bite-sized pieces.
- Place a steamer basket in the bottom of a medium sized pot. Fill the pot with an inch or two of water. Put the kale leaves into the pot, and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, cover, and let simmer for about four minutes. Remove the top, and if you can easily remove the steamer basket do so, or using tongs, put all the kale into a serving dish.
- Optional: If you want to enjoy your steamed kale in a salad, or just at a cooler temperature, run cold water over the leaves till cool.
Serving ideas: to embellish your simply steamed kale try it with homemade lemon garlic dressing, sautéed onions, slivered almonds, or sunflower seeds.
By Chloe Bolton
Photos by Sophie Slater