Kale, kumara and kiwifruit — all nourishing winter nosh.
Kale comes in several varieties including the common curly and the long-leafed cavelo nero. All are great sources of vitamin A, C and K plus copper. They also contain folate, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium plus beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Whew!
Discard any thick kale stalks and shred or coarsely chop the leaves. Add to smoothies, mashes, stir fries, soups, pasta or pies. Tear younger leaves into salads. For a crisp snack, bake kale tossed in a little olive oil.
Kumara is also a good source of antioxidants. Virtually fat-free, kumara (sweet potato) contains substantial amounts of good dietary fibre, vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene — a form of vitamin A. The brighter the flesh colour, the better the nourishment.
Kiwifruit — also a nutritional powerhouse — contains twice as much vitamin C as an orange. It is high in magnesium which assists in bone formation, protein and energy metabolism, and normal functioning of the nervous system. Kiwifruit is also: a great source of vitamin E; high in folic acid — important in replacing old or damaged cells; and it provides enough potassium to maintain a healthy fluid and electrolyte balance.
KALE, POTATO & LEEK SOUP
A kale garnish can be prepared by tossing the dry chopped leaves in olive oil and baking for about 10 minutes at 200°C, until crisp. Stir occasionally.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large leek, dark green leaves removed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
400g potatoes, diced
1 1/2 litres vegetable stock
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
150g curly kale
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Sauté the onion until softened. Add the leek and garlic and cook on medium for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the potatoes and stock. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
Meanwhile, discard any thick stalks from the curly kale. Chop finely. Pour boiling water over the leaves in a bowl to soften. Drain well.
Purée the soup until smooth. Add the kale and heat through.
Great garnished with crispy baked kale or drizzled with a little olive oil. Serves 6.
BAKED KUMARA WITH PEAR & BACON
These can be prepared up until the second baking stage.
4 medium kumara
2-3 tablespoons butter or table spread
salt and pepper to taste
1 large cooked pear, drained and diced
3-4 rashers streaky bacon
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Bake the kumara until just soft.
Cool a little. Cut almost through each kumara from the top to the base. Scoop out the flesh leaving a shell.
Mash the kumara together with the butter and seasonings. Fold in the pear. Spoon back into the kumara shells.
Wrap each kumara with bacon. Secure with cocktail sticks.
Bake for about 5 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the kumara is heated through. Great served with roast pork or chicken, or pork steaks. Serves 4.
DRY JULY KIWIFRUIT MOJITOS
Seedlip replaces the traditional vodka.
Syrup: 1 tablespoon grated root ginger
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
Mojito: 1 cup diced green kiwifruit
1 lime, cut into wedges
20 mint leaves
1/2 cup each: syrup, Seedlip Grove 24 Citrus
1 cup sparkling mineral water
extra kiwifruit and mint leaves to garnish
Combine the syrup ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cover and stand for 10 minutes. Strain and chill.
Place the kiwifruit, lime wedges and mint leaves in a jug. Stir gently. Chill until ready to serve.
To serve, add the syrup, Seedlip, sparkling mineral water and your preferred number of ice cubes. Stir, then pour into glasses. Serves 2-3.