• This Saturday’s market features “Sunshine Salad” with beet and carrot medley
By Sara Conyers
Homer farmers Market VISTA volunteer
Stocking up and getting healthy has never been so easy at the Homer Farmers Market.
In this week’s “Chef at the Market,” nutritional therapist Jenifer Dickson introduced several exciting, new and nutritious ways to prepare kale. Kale has become a popular super-food around the country, with large, thick, green leaves that thrive in the cool Alaska summers.
Homer Farmers Market vendor and farmer, Rob Heimbach supplied the mountain of kale used in this week’s presentation featuring crunchy kale chips, a massaged kale salad and kale comfort food.
A member of the cabbage family, kale is one of the most nutritious greens in the garden. Dickson explained a few of its great anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer characteristics. Kale is also recognized as a great source for vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. You can also bet that if your kale was grown locally and naturally, it is also full of tons of minerals absorbed from the rich Alaska soil.
While Dickson said she doesn’t agree with everything stated on the nonprofit website, World’s Healthiest Foods (whfoods.com), it is an exciting resource for the nutritional profiles — as well as phytonutrient content of many different foods, including kale.
The website also explains how kale contains oxalates, while naturally occurring in plants and animals, they can become too concentrated in the body and difficult to digest. When preparing dishes with raw kale, such as the massaged kale salad, its best to let it sit for several hours before consuming. Other options to avoid the oxalates in kale include steaming and sautéing. This Saturday, Dickson returns to the market to discuss “Super Food, Super-Fun, Salads.”
She will prepare a raw marinated broccoli salad, and a “Sunshine Salad” with a beet and carrot medley.
As you stock up for winter, remember that the Homer Farmers Market matches your Quest benefits up to $20 at every market. That means for $20 in Quest benefits, you will have $40 to spend at the market. Many vendors accept Quest tokens for produce, eggs, seafood and plant starts.
For your kale cravings, try one of Dickson’s exciting recipes.
Kale Comfort Food
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
Sauté onion in oil for three minutes. Add garlic and kale, sauté another three minutes Sprinkle with feta and serve in brightly colored bowl. Serve as a side or add to starch like quinoa for a fabulous meal.
Massaged Kale Salad
2 bunches kale leaves, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 juiced lemons
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup toasted pecans
Combine oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss dressing and kale leaves. With clean hands, massage leaves until 1/2 volume. Add fruit and nuts to serve. Experiment with different dressings and enjoy.
Crunchy Kale Chips
2 bunches fresh kale
1/4 cup olive oil, or butter
Sea salt to taste
Remove leaves from stem. Cut or tear into chip-sized pieces. Toss in olive oil, or butter and arrange on baking sheet.
If using olive oil, heat oven to 250 degrees and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crispy.
For butter, heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. Flip chips over halfway through baking and spice up with soy sauce or cayenne pepper.
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