I recall an incident from back in 2008. I was in the produce section of the supermarket stuffing bunches of kale into a bag when a lady approached and asked me “excuse me, would you mind telling me how to prepare this vegetable, my nutritionist says I should eat it but I haven’t a clue what to do with it.” I told her to sautee it in sesame or olive oil and pressed garlic and to serve it with toasted pumpkin seeds as she listened on in bewilderment. Then Kale became the new black and everyone was all over it. I’ve heard something about Collard Greens being the new black these days, but Kale will always be my numero uno.
I got on the Kale bandwagon very early on, way before it became “trendy”, and I haven’t gotten off since. When I first moved to Italy in 2012 I was almost in tears when I couldn’t find it. I had no clue what they called it in Italian and went around the city desperately searching for it and trying to describe it, only to be met with a blank stare.
Some fierce googling lead me to the discovery that kale in Italy is called Cavolo Nero, which literally translates into black cabbage and explains my confusion. I had seen it around, but it didn’t look like the kale I knew. I was used to using Curly Kale back in Canada and at that time I had never been exposed to this particular variety known as Lacinato, Dinosaur or Tuscan Kale. On my next trip to the market I picked up a bunch and was in Kale heaven. If you haven’t tried this variety yet, let me tell you it’s life changing and superior.
Tuscans do it best! Lucky for me I married one.
Tuscan Kale, as the name denotes, is grown and harvested in Tuscany. The leaves are tall and narrow, with a rich dark green colour, and are slightly wrinkled, resembling dinosaur skin, which is why it is also known as Dinosaur Kale. The texture is firm, even when cooked and the flavour is slightly sweeter and more delicate than Curly Kale. Just like other kale varieties its packed with vitamins A, K and C.
The only down side is that I can’t get it year round, as it can only be found from November to April here in Italy. But once it’s in season, it’s a staple in my diet and I use it in everything from smoothies, to soups and salads, to make pesto, in pasta dishes, and so much more.
You can imagine my excitement when I recently found it in the produce section at Eataly in Milan. It was like Christmas had come early. They didn’t have much on hand but I still managed to scrounge up enough leaves to fill a bag which was enough for a weeks worth of this simple and delicious “Kapple” smoothie. I went back there yesterday in search of more, but no such luck.
Here’s the recipe.
Kale Apple Smoothie
Recipe & Photography by Nissrine @ Harmony à la Carte.
This green smoothie gets it’s rich colour from dinosaur kale and it’s sweetness from coconut water and a golden delicious apple. It’s loaded with vitamins A, K and C and a whole lot of goodness.
- 1 C Coconut Water (you can substitute filtered water or milk of choice)
- 2 large stalks of Tuscan Kale (or other leafy green), coarsely chopped, ribs and stems removed, about 1 cup, packed
- 1/2 Golden Delicious Apple
- Handful Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, leaves only
- 1-2 Tsp Milled Chia Seeds
- 1/2 – 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
- Add all ingredients to high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Enjoy for breakfast or as a mid day snack.