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The Dandy ANDI and how to perk up your Kale

June 10, 2012

I definitely wait for Saturday to roll around to do my greens shopping at the farmer’s market in Noe Valley. I love walking there in the morning and I seem to always bump into someone I know from the birth world – babies, midwives, the local pediatrician. Lately, I have been wanting to fill my bags with as many greens as I can manage on the walk home – the walk is only about a half mile. But what I have been finding is that I simply can’t roast and dehydrate and saute my greens fast enough before some of them start to wilt in the refrigerator. Inevitably, I have one sad and lonely bunch left that has lost its perk in the salad bin. But, no worries, Kale does a beautiful job of getting right back to it’s perky self with a long soak in cold water. Here’s how to do it:

Perking up Your Kale

I bunch of un-perky Kale

I like to remove the tough stems (often called ribs) and tear the leaves into large pieces. A quick way to remove the stem is to grab the bottom of the stem with one hand. Then, holding on fairly tightly, pull the stem with your other hand so that the first hand shears off the leaves as you pull. They come off pretty quickly.

Place in a large bowl with cold water and watch as the kale begins to perk up. I just leave it there for hours and by the afternoon, my Kale is as good as new!

The Dandy ANDI

You may have noticed a few new signs in the grocery store lately, quoting ANDI scores for various foods. The ANDI score is a new way of understanding the “nutritional density” of certain foods. In other words, how much bang are you getting for your buck. ANDI stands for Aggregate Nutrient Density Index and the range is from 1 to 1000. The higher the score, the more nutrients you will be getting. The Fooducate blog has a good write up and the chart here.

According to Julie Morris, writer and vegan, healthy food chef, (and of course she has her own food blog – check out her recipe for Quinoa Chia Energy Bars here) nutrient density refers to the ratio of nutrients per calorie. “Superfoods give the most nutrients possible for the least amount of calories. Nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals are all included in this calculation. Put simply, nutrient density is the opposite of an empty calorie, and the fresher and more whole a food is, the more nutrient dense.” On the scale of 1 to 1000, collard greens and kale are 1000 compared to soda which is 1.

So, while you’re shopping, look out for this new scoring and try to purchase foods that are high on the scale. With fresh produce, grass-fed meats and heart-healthy fish choices, you will be on your way to better eating and a healthy pregnancy. Almost all the dark greens are found at the top of the scale, so consider a daily dose of greens as a given for a healthy lifestyle. Munch on Kale chips, a smoothie in the morning with spinach, kale or chard, and a beautiful pile of sauteed greens with dinner – you are on your way!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. joy permalink
    June 11, 2012 6:24 am

    maria, you’re awesome! i love this new blog of yours! kale is definitely my fave green as of late. i have fond memories of noshing on kale chips before and after birth, and enjoying kale in miso broth with quinoa as a healing meal post birth too! xoxo

    • June 12, 2012 10:45 am

      Yay! Wanna submit a recipe for Kale in Miso broth with Quinoa? Send me photos and recipe!

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