I absolutely love kale and consume this amazing green leafy vegetable in many forms, from green drinks and salads to side dishes and even dehydrated in the form of chips!! If you’ve never had the opportunity to try Kale Chips, then this is the perfect time! It’s June, farm stands are open and organic kale is in abundance.
Kale is a member of the cabbage family. It’s high in phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins A , C & K and provides many healing benefits. Including anti-inflammatory & cancer fighting properties. Kale comes in many varieties including: Cavolo Nero which is also known as black kale, dinosaur kale, dragon tongue, lacinato & tuscan kale. Scotch Kale which has gray-green leaves that are crumpled and curled on the edges. Plain Leaved Kale, which is blue-green in color with long thin leaves. Leaf and Spear Kale which is a hybrid of curly leaved and plain leaved kale. Rape Kale also known as hungry gap kale, because kale is plentiful during the winter season. Another of the curly leaved variety is Red Russian Kale, also known as Ragged Jack Kale, Buda Kale and Fearing Kale, it’s purplish in color with red veins and has more of a jagged edge to its leaves.
When selecting kale look for moist leaves that look fresh, crisp, bright in color and tender. Avoid wilted leaves that appear dry or yellow because they lack nutritional value. Dehydrating Kale is a great nutritional replacement for high calorie, high sodium potato chips and other unhealthy snacks. Dehydrating ~vs~ baking is a great way to preserve ever important nutrients and enzymes, while creatively increasing your intake of whole foods. Having plenty of Kale Chips on hand is a great way of eating fresh kale on the go, at any time.
There are many ways to prepare Kale Chips using various spices and ingredients such as; cashews, paprika, thyme, garlic, nutritional yeast (for a cheezy flavor) cayenne pepper and even chili pepper. I enjoy experimenting with many of these variations, but my favorite is the very simple recipe below:
Ingredients: (2-4) bunches of Scotch Kale , (2) Tbls Olive Oil & (1) Tbls of Bragg Liquid Aminos (2) Tbls Lemon Juice (1) Tsp of Sesame Seeds (or) Flax Seeds
Step 1) Remove Stems & Any Thick Veins.
Step 2) Rinse & spin dry or gently pat dry kale leaves.
Step 3) Rip into nice bite size pieces and not to small, because kale will shrink during dehydration.
Step 4) Place in bowel and……
Step 4) Toss with olive oil, Bragg Liquid Aminos, seeds & lemon juice.
Step 5) Place coated kale on dehydrator sheets or lined cookie sheets & dehydrate for 6-8 hours or bake on 100°F-115°F for approximately 2-hours. After 1-hour in the oven be sure to rotate the Kale Chips so they’ll dehydrate evenly.
NOTE: Low & warm settings vary from oven to oven. Some ovens temps settings will not go below 130°F-140°F at which point you’re simply baking your Kale Chips and not dehydrating them. Though still a very healthy snack, some vital nutrients are lost when green leafy vegetables are cooked. If you can not set your oven temp low enough for dehydration and you are “eating for healing” then you might consider investing in a food dehydrator with a temperature setting. If you still prefer to bake your Kale Chips, set your oven at 350°F and bake for 10-15 min.
Voilà! Kale Chips….Enjoy!
This recipe is also vegan & raw vegan friendly. Still have lots of kale left over? Check out The Positive Pear’s other recipes using kale: Nutritional, Gluten-Free, Diary-Free, Low-Starch & Inflammation Friendly Recipes
Got a chocolate addiction? Well that’s a good thing. According to a recent study led by Associate Professor of Medicine Beatrice Golomb at the University of California San Diego, chocolate has proven to have favorable metabolic effects on healthy adults who combined reasonable consumption with exercise. In this study those ranging in ages from 20 to 85, reported eating chocolate twice per week while also exercising an average of 3.6 times per week, had lower Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a fairly reliable indicator of body fat and is a calculated by using a person’s weight and height. A normal BMI is typically 18.5 – 24.9, while anyone considered overweight would have a BMI of 25.0 – 29.9 and 30+ for those falling into the obese category. Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often. Galomb further stated “Our findings– that more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI — are intriguing,” while calling for more detailed research and perhaps a randomized clinical trial of chocolate’s metabolic benefits. In conclusion she added ”We have seen in multiple studies the benefits of chocolate, and yet again, we see as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, chocolate does not add to weight gain, but in fact, might help control it,”
Chocolate a treat ordinarily associated with a guilty pleasure, is high in antioxidant polyphenols and flavonols, which can improve mood by releasing the neurotransmitter serotonin and in the process can also enhance sleep and reduce stress and the sensation of pain. This amazing superfood can also lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and the plasma concentrations of proinflammatory cysteinyl leukotrienes. Thus lowering risks of heart disease, by reducing inflammation. Also beneficial to those with live with chronic inflammatory conditions. According to a study led by Elizabeth Triche of Yale University, pregnant women who consume dark chocolate during pregnancy are less likely to develop pre-eclampsia and according to a study led by Katri Raikkonen at the University of Helsinki in Finland, using 300 pregnant participants, it was further established that pregnant women who consume one small square of chocolate each day have happier, livelier babies thanks to phenylethylamine an ingredient in chocolate. Having a chocolate bar a day does not necessarily keep the doctor away, so before you begin stocking up on chocolate bars remember that moderation is key. In addition, the types of chocolate and how it’s processed is incredibly important, because those less processed will have a higher flavonoid content and those with less sugar are healthier options. Consider a few Positive Pear recommendations: RAW unprocessed chocolate in the form of cacao nibs and Navitas Naturals is a great brand. ZICO chocolate flavored coconut water and your favorite whole food, high quality, chocolate flavored protein powder, such as Monitoba, Alive, Vega or Amazing Grass. If you’re dying for a chocolate bar make sure it consists of at least 70% cocoa, that it’s also Organic and/or “Fair Trade” chocolate. Your local health food store, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Amazon.com are all great sources.
Keep Calm, Eat Chocolate & Exercise More!
Association Between More Frequent Chocolate Consumption and Lower Body Mass Index, Cocoa polyphenols and inflammatory mediators, Chocolate Consumption in Pregnancy and Reduced Likelihood of Preeclampsia, New Scientist magazine Journal reference: Early Human Development (vol 76, p 139)
Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
A Beautiful Fruit Platter for Any Occasion. No Cooking Involved! Fun, Simple, Easy & Healthy.
The idea of a “Rainbow Fruit Kabob” is to select fruit that matches the colors of the rainbow using low-starch options:
RED: Strawberries, Raspberries, Watermelon (or) Cherries
ORANGE: Oranges, Tangerines (or) Mangos (ripened naturally for lower starch) (or) Cantaloupe (higher starch)
YELLOW: Yellow Watermelon/Santa Claus Melon (or) Pineapple (ripened naturally not picked early & cold stored) (or) sliced & peeled Peaches (higher starch)
GREEN: Kiwi, Green Grapes, Honeydew Melon
BLUE: Blueberries, Blackberries
Press onto your “Wooden Kabob Skewers” either 1 piece of each fruit to have more of the skewer showing, or double up to cover the skewer completely. Chill, Serve & Enjoy!
TIP 1: Your kabobs can be made up to 12 hours in advance. When doubling the fruit on your kabob, keep in mind that the fruit on the ends might collapse under the weight of kabob. How much fruit you use depends on how long your kabobs will sit prior to eating.
TIP 2: When pealing oranges use an extra sharp knife to cut into small/medium triangle shapes. The pith of the orange is packed full of Bioflavonoids, Antioxidant and Vitamin C, but it’s not the most attractive on a platter. One way to get the best of both worlds is to peel away the pith from the sides of the orange pieces that are most visible, perhaps leaving some pith on the bottom, hidden portion.
TIP 3: If you’re not growing your own produce, be sure to visit & support your local Farm Stands or Farmer’s Markets for fruit picked at their appropriate times, or visit “pick your own” farms. Organic, Non-GMO foods are best, because it limits our exposure to harmful chemicals. If there are no Farm Stands or Farmer’s Markets in your area, consider Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or a local health food store. A last resort would be the organic food section of your local market, but be mindful that there is the risk of chemical cross contamination, due to shipping methods. Also note that supermarket fruit & veggies are picked long before they are ripe, then shipped in freezers and often from other countries. This method deprives the fruit & us of valued nutrients. Whenever possible buy local and be sure to keep a good chemical free fruit & veggie wash on hand to rid your fruit of waxes, chemicals and surface pesticides. Environné is a great brand @ approx $3.99 per 16 oz bottle, at your local Trader Joe’s (or) Rebel Green which is Kosher Certified, sold for $5.99 per 16oz bottle at Whole Foods.