March 09, 2018
Sugary cereal, fried sausages, and the occasional toaster pastry served with a glass of milk. This is what my generation considered a good breakfast growing up. Anyone who didn’t consider this normal was probably considered a “health nut.”
Jump ahead to today. Whether we’re successful at it or not, most of us are at least trying to look more closely at the nutritional value of what we’re putting in our bodies. Breakfast? More likely avocado toast than pastry; chia seed pudding instead of sugary cereal. It’s no wonder, then, that superfoods like kale, quinoa, and kombucha have become more mainstream for their nutritional punch. But here’s the rub: to the uninitiated palate, these unfamiliar foods can be too much to swallow. Literally.
Despite their seeming strangeness, completely ignoring superfoods and their associated health benefits doesn’t seem like the right approach. So here’s my thinking. If you cook the classics — say, a roast with a side of potatoes and maybe some salad — jumping straight into Kale and Quinoa Terrine with Pomegranate Tapenade might be a little . . . um . . . optimistic? After all, you don’t just jump on a bike and ride away. It takes time, effort, and, yes, training wheels.
Because no matter how delicious the next Food Network star proclaims them to be, trying all those new things together might not encourage food bravery…it might just set off your picky eaters’ alarm bells. What if you started off with the training-wheels equivalent of a superfood recipe instead? Skip the fancy recipes and try a superfood recipe with enough familiarity to taste like home.
Nothing beats the ease of salad. Start with a green leafy thing and throw in whatever else you’ve got. But what if instead of romaine every time, you sometimes switch up your “green leafy thing” for kale? Ounce for ounce, kale offers more protein, iron, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and cancer-fighting antioxidants than lettuce.1,2
If you’ve tried kale before and are not a kale convert, it might be because, eaten raw, it can be a bit bitter and fibrous, with a mouth sensation similar to chewing banana peels. If this sounds like your experience, make way for a life-changing tip, below (hint: it involves oil and a massage).
Ready to ditch the training wheels and go for the nutrition overhaul at full speed? Independence Blue Cross can help connect you with the experts! If you’re a member, your plan may include six free visits with a registered dietitian each benefit year. Check to see if your plan covers nutrition counseling.3
Ever since this salad entered the rotation a couple of years back, my seven-year-old son has asked for seconds and thirds. Granted, he knows he’s expected to eat his veggies, but asking for more is totally up to him.
• 1 bunch of kale (any sort will do: curly leaf or the flatter-leafed
• 1 lemon
• 1 large clove of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes (see Recipe notes, below)
• Sea salt
If you’re not familiar with nutritional yeast, it’s a vegetarian nutritional supplement high in B-complex vitamins. Added to food, it imparts a mild, cheesy flavor. If this feels too far out, you can also replace the nutritional yeast with a small handful of high-quality, shredded parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast is available at most health-food stores and some supermarkets like Whole Foods and Wegman’s (common pre-packaged brands are Bob’s Red Mill, Braggs, and Red Star; you can also look in the bulk-food section).
This content was originally published in IBX Insights.
I’m Kathy. I love pen and paper, glue and glitter, trees and tents, chopping, mincing, stirring, kneading. I run a little, swim a little, and curse a little (especially when I’m too ambitious about the other two). I have one husband, two young kids, and until quite recently, two Madagascar hissing cockroaches in an aquarium in the living room. I’ve lived here and there across the U.S. and the world and am happiest huddled in a corner of the couch reading mystery novels.