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Why Massaging Kale is a Must

10 Feb

Why Massaging Kale is a Must

When it comes to love for leafy greens, kale does not want for admirers.

Long touted as a super food, kale is a nutritional powerhouse that packs:

  • 4 grams of fiber in just 50 calories (about 6 cups loosely packed)
  • 1/3 daily value for vitamin A & double your daily need for vitamin C
  • 150 mg calcium (about half the amount in a cup of milk)

Sure kale tastes great if you cook it. But when consumed raw, the bitter kale leaves can be a bit off-putting.

Enter the kale massage. Massaging your kale mellows its flavor and softens up the brittle green.

Here’s how to master the mighty kale massage:

  • Strip the kale leaves away from the center vein and discard vein
  • Chiffonade or very thinly slice remaining kale leaves
  • Transfer to a bowl, grab bunches of kale in both hands, add a little olive oil if you want, and go to town
  • After a few minutes of massaging, the kale leaves’ texture will visibly change and shrink in size

Although the massage yields a darker-colored kale, there is no data to suggest that massaging kale alters its nutrient profile.

But if a kale massage is all it takes you to get more of this fiber friendly food…then clearly, massaging kale is a must!

The Good Bean: Crispy, Crunchy Chickpea Snacks

8 Dec

The Good Bean: Crispy, Crunchy Chickpea Snacks

As a dietitian, I find myself constantly extolling the benefits of legumes:

  • Want more plant protein? Eat legumes.
  • Looking to fill up with fiber? Eat legumes.
  • Need a nutrient rich carbohydrate? Eat legumes.

The actual practice of eating more legumes, however, is easier said than done. Sure, you can sub out meat for kidney beans in your chili or look to lentils for more filling soups.

But how do you incorporate legumes into snacks? Well, I think I’ve found the perfect answer: The Good Bean.

I recently sampled the Sweet Cinnamon flavor of these crispy, crunchy chickpea snacks – and let me tell you, legumes have never looked better!

A one ounce serving (about 1/6 of the bag) of The Good Bean chickpea snacks has:

  • 120 calories
  • 3g total fat
  • 5g dietary fiber
  • 5g protein

If you want a snack that keeps you sated, you look for protein and fiber. This snack has both, and 5 grams of each are pretty impressive stats. They are nut-free, gluten free, soy free and vegan.

I loved the Sweet Cinnamon flavor: it was – as the name implies – sweet, but not overly so, with just 6 grams of sugar. The first ingredient is roasted chickpeas, which is nice to see considering that so many other vegetable snacks start out chock full of potato starch.

You can find The Good Bean chickpea snacks at Whole Foods or Sprouts Market. Or check out their online Store Locator for a retail outlet near you.

PMA 2014: Fresh Summit Recap

7 Nov

PMA 2014: Fresh Summit Recap

As a guest and exhibitor with the California Avocado Commission, I recently had the opportunity to attend the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2014 tradeshow in Anaheim, CA.

With over 20,000 attendees and 900 exhibitors from 60+ countries, this was the place to BE if you love produce!

I was fortunate enough to spend my time in the CAC booth hosting Supermarket Registered Dietitians and educating them on the benefits of premium California avocados. I had an opportunity to demo one of the recipes I created for California Avocados this year – my 100-Calorie California Avocado Cucumber Cups – to the retail RDs and highlight the nutritional benefits of this versatile fruit.