All hail the kale! Kale is a wonder green due to all the nutrients it has to offer as well as it's versatility. Kale contains a high level of Vitamin A and Vitamin K and is a great source of calcium, iron, folate, and Vitamin C. You can saute, steam, bake, boil and even eat kale raw. I love how kale is curly and I also love how it grows. It is a humble, kicked-back and casual green with it's curls and wayward growth on the ground. Never underestimate the power of kale and try to put aside any of your preconceived notions about the taste of kale.
Kale is a great addition to baby's ever growing array of foods. It would be best to serve kale (and mushrooms) to babies who are 8 months old or older. Although many babies are introduced to kale earlier, please be sure to ask your pediatrician about offering kale to your little one. As a leafy green, it is important to immediately serve or store kale once it has been cooked to avoid a possible concentration of nitrates.
This year Kale has a place on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen 2012 Plus list; kale may contain pesticides of special concern. Please try to purchase organic kale whenever possible, especially if you will be preparing it for your baby. One of the easiest ways to prepare kale and retain most of it's nutrients is to saute it in a bit of olive oil, Here is how I do this:
Sauteed Kale with Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic
This recipe is suitable for babies 8 months and over.
- 1 bunch kale; organic, cleansed
- 1-2 cups of clean, chopped button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (I roast garlic and then keep the cloves handy in my freezer)
- pepper (just a shake)
- paprika (just a shake)
Clean and then chop the stems off kale, using only the curly greens. Heat oil in a saute/frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute until soft. Add the kale to the pan (don't worry, it will wilt and fit into the pan!) and saute, moving the greens around the pan until they are wilty and soft.
Puree and serve warm. Mix puree into other foods for baby such as chicken, apple or pear sauce, sweet potatoes or even yogurt. This will freeze well in puree form.