My friends who visited from Germany last week and who were amused by the fact that I was drinking green juice and almond milk, made me realize that whatever is eaten in New York (and of course some other places where there’s Whole Foods and juice bars) might not be eaten anywhere else. Although I’m living in Brooklyn, the home to many veggie-drinkers, locavores, raw-food-enthusiasts, and everything-organic-lovers, I refused to drink kale juice for a long time. My conversion started when I tried to go gluten free for a week but didn’t want to give up my daily yogurt and granola. I found Cherry Chia Greenola in a local bodega and couldn’t believe how great it tastes! For me, growing up in Northern Germany, where eating “Kohl und Pinkel” (kale and sausage) has a tradition reaching back into the middle ages, kale is usually eaten with sausage after drinking lots of schnapps. People would go with their friends and family on a tour equipped with a wooden cart filled with alcohol (usually schnapps or korn) and on every crossroads they would stop and drink until they arrive drunk at the “Kohl und Pinkel” restaurant. You can imagine that associating kale with a healthy diet didn’t even cross my mind.
Little did I know then about the gazillion of health benefits this bitterly leaf has to offer. Kale contains high amounts of Vitamin K, A, and C as well as E and B Vitamins. Minerals, flavonoids, and omega 3 fatty acids are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and glucosinates are successful cancer-preventing phytonutrients. Therefore, if you’re not into the taste of kale yet, you should try these yummy recipes:
- kale leaves
- dried cherries
- dried cranberries
- sliced almonds
- sunflower oil
- coconut flakes
Wash and dry kale leaves, then put them in a big bowl and mix them with the remaining ingredients. Add 1-2 table spoons sunflower oil and mix it well. Spread out leaves on a baking tray and leave in the oven at 115 F for 30 min. Make sure they stay green, it the leaves turn brown the temperature is too high and they are burning.
You can also buy the very tasty but a bit expensive Cherry Chia Greenola from New York Naturals which is made in a solar powered facility in Brooklyn.
Kale Granola tastes good as snack in between or over yoghurt.
And if you’re interested in cooking the traditional Kale and Pinkel, I found a good recipe online: http://germanfood.about.com/od/meatbasedrecipesandmenu/r/gruenkohl.htm