Before starting the Specific Carbohydrate diet (SCD) thirteen years ago, kale and beets were not part of our regular diet, in fact, we never ate them. Today we not only eat them regularly, we also grow them! If you’re not a gardener you can find them in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets. In this article, I’m going to tell you why kale and beets are so beneficial to your health and share a couple of favorite recipes.
Why you should love kale: Per serving, Kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, it’s high in vitamins A, C and K, and it’s full of antioxidants, anti–inflammatory properties, and has cardiovascular benefits. Kale is also high in fiber and low calories. Best of all it’s easy to use. You can cut it up and put it in smoothies and salads. You can sauté it in omelets and throw it in stews and soups. Best of all you can make one of our favorite recipes, kale chips.
Kale Chips: Take a bunch of kale, wash and dry it, cut the thick spines off and cut up the kale in chip size pieces (I use clean kitchen scissors). You can compost the spines, cut them up and feed them to your worms if you have a vermiculture, or freeze them for soups. Put the cut up kale (it should be about 8 cups or more) in a large bowl and toss with no more than 1T of olive oil (less is better) you don’t want the kale drenched in oil as a little goes a long way. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of Pink Himalayan salt, pepper, a clove or two of minced garlic, and your choice of herbs and spices. You can even add freshly grated parmesan cheese. If you are on the SCD diet make sure it’s all legal. Gently toss together to cover all the kale leaves. If you are using a dehydrator you can dehydrate them at 135 for 2 hours or until the chips are dry and crispy. If you are using an oven put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet at 350 for 10 mins, and then turn the chips over with a spatula. Continue cooking for another 10 mins until dry and crispy. Allow them to cool and store in a storage container.
Why you should love beets: Beets are full of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron and vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine and folic acid. They help detox the liver and purify the blood. They are also said to be good for mental health and lowering blood pressure. You can eat them raw or cooked. You can put them on salads pickled or steamed, cooled and cut up. Or you can try them as a side dish of roasted root vegetables which is our favorite. If you’re not on the SCD diet, you can add sweet potatoes, yukon gold’s or any of your favorite root vegetables.
Favorite (SCD) beet recipe: Wash and peel the skins of 2 to 3 large beets, wash 6 or so carrots (we use the organic yellow, purple and orange colored carrots), cut them up to inch size pieces and put in a large bowl. Cut up 1 onion in smaller pieces and add to the bowl. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 2 T of olive oil. Add 1tsp of Pink Himalayan salt, pepper to taste and whatever herbs you like. I use fresh or dried rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme and sometimes red pepper flakes. Toss all of this to coat and even let the flavors meld for 15 to 30 mins. Preheat oven to 350. I use a stone baking dish, but a cookie sheet with edges will work. Spread the root veggies out in a single layer and roast for about 45mins. You can turn them about half way through if you want. They should be tender and able to pierce with a fork when done. If you are a blue cheese lover you can crumble a little on top after removing from the oven.
These are some of my favorite uses of Kale and Beets but I’m sure there are many more. Please leave your ideas in the comments and let’s learn from each other.