Kale and Yams

Looking for a new way to serve up kale? How about with some sweet potatoes!

1 large bunch Kale (4 cups chopped, pressed firm)
4 cups Yams (sweet potatoes), rinsed well and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Purple cabbage, sliced
1 1/2 cups Onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tamari sauce (soy sauce)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon serrano chile, seeded and diced
Salt to taste

Rinse and drain kale well. Steam kale and yams. Kale should still be colourful and yams should still have some firmness. While kale and yams are steaming, place oil in a large sauté pan and heat on medium high. Add onion, garlic, ginger and chili pepper, cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add small amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Place in a large mixing bowl with remaining ingredients, add kale and mix well. Add yams and gently mix well.

Why eat kale:

Kale is one of the best cancer-fighting vegetables we have on our planet.  As a member of the brassica family (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, collards, broccoli) it is rich in carotenoids (such as lutein and zeaxanthin) and sulfur-containing compounds.  Exactly how kale’s sulfur-containing phytonutrients prevent cancer is not yet clear, but several researchers point to their ability to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver that help neutralize potentially carcinogenic substances.

Also an excellent source of fibre, kale can help to reduce high cholesterol levels, help to keep blood sugar levels under control, reduce uncomfortable constipation or diarrhea, and bind to cancer-causing chemicals and helping their elimination from the body.

Serving Ideas:

  • Lightly sauté kale with fresh garlic and sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil before serving OR simply steam and then sprinkle with fresh garlic and olive oil.
  • Braise chopped kale and apples. Before serving, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts.
  • Combine chopped kale, pine nuts and feta cheese with whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil.

Safety: Green leafy vegetables are a great source of calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, all excellent nutrients for bone health.  Unfortunately, kale also contains oxalic acid which binds to calcium and tends to counteract its absorption. Consume kale sparingly if you are trying to build up your bones, and you may want to eat it 2-3 hours before or after taking your calcium supplements. Cooking can also inactivate oxalic acid.  When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize therefore people with existing kidney or gallbladder issues should also use kale sparingly.Kale contains goitrogens, naturally-occurring substances in certain foods that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. Individuals with already existing and untreated thyroid problems may want to avoid kale for this reason. Cooking may help to inactivate the goitrogenic compounds found in food