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How to Use More Kale

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This cruciferous dark leafy green is a nutrition powerhouse. Here are tips to use more of it in your kitchen.

Eat for the Nutrition

Kale is one of the more nutrient-dense veggies you can add to your culinary repertoire. Rich in fiber and health-boosting antioxidants, it also offers a variety of minerals, including calcium and manganese, as well as vitamins A, C, and K.

Shop and Store

Pick vibrant bunches with sturdy leaves, and avoid kale that appears limp or yellowish. When possible, choose organic and locally grown varieties. A bunch will keep in the refrigerator, wrapped loosely in a paper towel and placed in a plastic bag, for up to a week.

Go for Variety

Perhaps the most common type, curly kale features bright green leaves with wavy edges and a peppery flavor. Tuscan kale (also called lacinato or dinosaur kale) offers darker, thinner, earthier-tasting leaves. Red kale (sometimes called red Russian kale) boasts red or purple stems and tastes a bit sweeter than other varieties.

Stem and Slice

To prep kale, strip the leaves from the stems, stack the leaves, roll them into a bundle, and use a sharp knife to slice them into the desired size. Chopped kale can be braised or sautéed with aromatics for a satisfying side dish or stirred into soups, stews, or stir-fries for a nutritional boost. (For kale recipes, head to “Recipes: Kale, Four Ways”.)

Massage

You can also eat kale raw in a salad, but you’ll want to tenderize its tough leaves for optimal flavor and digestion. To massage, place one chopped bunch in a bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Rub the oil into the leaves for two to three minutes; the kale will wilt slightly and darken in color.

This originally appeared as “Kale” in the December 2020 print issue of Experience Life.

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Health & Fitness

5 Sustainable Items for Healthy Eating

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Sustainable goods that make eating well a little easier.

1. Better Bags

Better Bags

Vejibags not only reduce the amount of plastic waste headed for landfills: These U.S.-made organic-cotton produce bags let vegetables “breathe” and stay fresh for longer. $20–$25 from www.vejibag.com.

2. Fresh Start

Fresh Start herbs

These self-watering herb kits from Modern Sprout are a foolproof way to bring more fresh herbs into your kitchen. Just add water, set on a sunny windowsill, and enjoy the bounty. $20 each. www.modernsprout.com

3. The Right Tool

Wooden kitchen spoons

Make everyday cooking a true pleasure with these elegant, hand-carved walnut spoons from Hawkins New York. Available in a variety of sizes, from cocktail spoons to spatulas. $18–$36. www.hawkinsnewyork.com

4. Just Nuts

Joi nut milk

Joi nut-milk bases allow you to mix up your own creamy almond or cashew milk at home — and only as much as you need.  There are no additives, either; these are purely nuts. $20–$25 per tub; makes 7 quarts. www.addjoi.com

5. Vim and Vinegar

Vim and Vinegar product

Stone Hollow Farmstead’s infused cider vinegar contains immune-boosting turmeric along with garlic, star anise, and cardamom. Bright-tasting, versatile, and delicious straight from a spoon. $16. www.stonehollowfarmstead.com


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