Hail to Kale


The beginnings of a spinach kale and veggie frittata

In preparation for my upcoming cooking class at the Davis Coop next Monday, I came upon this article about all the benefits of kale.

It got me thinking.  Why do we, as a culture, pay homage to junk like Gingerbread Latte’s, soda, overstuffed burritos and all that kind of food  when the payoff for eating things like kale and other greens is SO MUCH HIGHER!  Kale alone has been associated with reducing cancer risk (along with it’s cousin Brussel Sprouts), is high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium and potassium and more.  Furthermore, and maybe most importantly for Off-White eaters, foods like kale with a bitter principle can help reduce carb cravings and promote optimal digestive movement.

If only the fruit and veggie industry had the marketing budget of McDonald’s or Dow chemical (who, but the way, also makes a lot of food products – hopefully not at the same place that make your scrubbing bubbles to clean your bathroom!).  If only our ‘optimal default’ behavior was to hanker for kale and not Krispy Kreme.  I realize that we are hard wired to want sweet/fat because at one point it acutally helped us survive to indulge when we came upon a crop of nuts or honey as we foraged.  But can you tell me about a SINGLE food from nature that is both HIGH CARB and HIGH FAT at the same time.  Even milk, which has carbs and fat, is relatively low in the carbs compared to a plate of nachos or bowl of pasta tossed with olive oil.

Part of the issue is that we don’t know how to prepare kale or other greens in a tasty way.  They don’t grown from the ground being super tasty, I’ll be honest.  But when you cook with them properly and add flavor to them they become delicious.  At some point I went from detesting such foods to actually putting raw kale in my salad.  Does the pleasure center of my brain light up the same as when I’m eating a piece of cheesecake, or even a banana…no.  It doesn’t.  But the wellness centers of my brain are on fire!  And that is what really counts.

Perhaps some of you can join me April 18th @ 6pm at the Davis Food Coop for the “I HEART KALE” class.  It’s only $25 for non-members and you’ll get a ton of food, learn a lot, and meet other like minded kale-consuming hopefuls.