Facts About Kale (from WebMD)
- Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
- It’s a member of the same family (Brassica) as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
- One cup of kale contains 36 calories and 5 grams of fiber. Daily allowances: 15% calcium and B6, 40% magnesium, 180% vitamin A, 200% vitamin C, and 1,020% vitamin K. It’s also a good source of copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
I’ll admit that I’m not crazy about the taste of raw kale but it’s just so nutritious (see above) that I wanted to find a way to eat it. And that way for me, is in soups. For whatever reason, Kale loses it’s strong taste when added to soups.
I typically don’t keep fresh kale on hand but I’ve discovered that Walmart sells chopped kale by the bag (in the produce section). It’s chopped in small-ish pieces and has some of the stems included as well. Plus, it lends itself well to freezing.
Here’s how I prepare the kale for freezing:
I have a dedicated gallon bag and 8 sandwich baggies for the kale. (I reuse the bags and they’re stored in the freezer at all times – whether they are empty or full).
I take handfuls of kale and place into the sandwich baggies. I’m not sure exactly how much is in there… maybe a cup. (If when I add the kale to the soup, it seems like too much, I just don’t use it all or if it’s doesn’t seem like enough, I use some from another bag) Next, I compress the air out and seal the baggie…
then place them all in a gallon bag and store in the freezer.
When it comes time to use the kale. I take a sandwich baggie out, crunch the kale with my hands to make smaller pieces (no cutting!), add to the soup, then store the empty baggie back in the gallon bag.
I really like onions. They add interest to other foods and they’re nutritious – supplying fiber, B-6, folate, and calcium. Since many of the dishes I prepare contain onions in one form or another, I always keep a mesh bag of yellow onions hanging from a hook in my laundry room. I tried hanging them in my garage for a while but after a cold snap, I noticed that some of the onions had gone soft and watery so I began hanging them inside. ( Ideally, I’d like a root cellar but until I get one, the hook in the laundry room works fine).
Here’s how I chop onions for soup:
Place an onion on its side and remove the two ends.
Peel the onion and place it back on its side. Slice the onion in half.
With the halves laying flat, slice each section in half.
Chop into desired size.
The end result.
- Cut off top dark green, leafy part of the leek.
- Remove outer-most layer.
- Remove root section
- Cut the remaining section in half lengthwise (this will create a half-moon piece)
- Slice each section in 1/2-inch (or desired length) pieces
- Separate layers and place in a bowl of clean water. Swoosh around to clean well.
- Drain to use.
Watch this YouTube video on cutting leeks.