Mature kale is usually too tough and fibrous to eat raw, but this is a brilliant way to soften it up enough to be able to eat it raw, therefore preserving 100% of the nutrients. Obviously this is beneficial in all fresh foods, but if there’s one vegetable that you try to preserve all the nutrients of, make it kale! It is championed as a ‘superfood’ as it is absolutely bursting with health benefits. It is one of the most beneficial plants on the planet as it contains lots of fibre, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, masses of vitamin K, as well as copper, potassium, iron, maganese and phosphorus. All these antioxidant phytonutrients, particularly the cartenoids and flavenoids, are associated with anti-cancer benefits. It is also aids the body in detoxifying and boosts the immune system. There is ancient Turkish saying which says “Every leaf of Kale you eat, adds another stem to your tree of life”!
I have recently been learning about the benefits of soaking seeds and nuts to awaken all of the optimum nutritional benefits of the plant, as the phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors contained within are neutralised. These usually exists so that the seed or nut can protect itself while it is dormant, but when eaten in this state, key minerals are blocked from being absorbed into the body. However during soaking, these acids and enzyme inhibitors are neutralised so that the enzymes are then engaged and can increase the amount of protein, vitamins and minerals which are available to be absorbed by the body, increasing the nutrient benefits of the seed. In addition, phytic acid can also be a great strain on the human digestive system. Nuts and seeds are much easier to chew and digest after soaking. Sunflower seeds are among the quickest and easiet to soak, simply cover in filtered water for 2-4 hours. Dry and enjoy. Once they are soaked, it is best to eat the seeds as soon as possible, but you can store them in a clean, dry,airtight jar in the fridge for a few days also.
There is plenty of lovely organic Kale in Ireland at the moment which I am loving. I have always been a big fan of green veggies -kale, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, I love them all! Simply slice the kale thinly and mix it in a bowl with some salt and acid -I used lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. The salt and acid will break down the tough cell walls and wilt the kale to a more tender consistency, as if it has been cooked. You can massage it with your fingers for a couple of minutes to help this process along. I added avocado, soaked sunflower seeds and Kalamata olives, drizzled with some olive oil.
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