Monday, 30 December 2013

The new 'Super-food' that is inexpensive to buy and grow

Kale, yep kale. Many people will wince at the thought of eating mounds of the leafy greens but really you don't have to! Firstly before we get in to the nitty-gritty details of this wonderful vegetable I must make some of my personal opinions clear. At the moment many families have no idea how to make vegetables appeal nicely for their kids or know how to spice it up a bit but I am going to change that. There is the image in many peoples head of a pile of overcooked sludge when we speak about vegetables but really it can easily be changed with some imagination and creativity (or a cook book). If you want to skip my complaining go down to the fourth chapter.

Leafy greens are usually served as salads. How boring? 
For example with Kale you can make a delicious kedgeree along with some great flavorful haddock which immediately changes the taste that you may not like of the kale into a scrumptious meal. I have this idea in the back of my head for doing a video series on turning boring vegetables into amazing mouthwatering meals that are healthy. All these fast food restaurants serve you rubbish quality meat and fatty junk. You are what you eat and you don't want to turn in to junk do you?

There is a crisis going on in the world and it needs changing. One final personal view before we get in to why kale is amazing is a company that makes me turn in my sleep, well almost. Don't Cook Just Eat. It is promoting for people to stop cooking their own meals and eating food that is terrible for your body and I disagree with that completely. You can almost see it as promoting preventable death. Heart disease is the world's leading killer both in high and low income countries according to the COPD Health center but this can easily be prevented.

Okay so here in Britain kale sales have increased by 32% in the past year and this is expected to continue. But why, why are people so fussed about a green leaf? I have listed 10 things why:

1)     Kale has more iron per calorie than beef
2)     Kale has more calcium per calorie than milk
3)     It is high in Antioxidants
4)     Low in calories, fat and carbohydrates
5)     High in Vitamin A,C and K (10X more vitamin C than Spinach)
6)     High in potassium and other minerals
7)     Helps grow strong bones
8)     Reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer
9)     Helps weight loss
10)   Lowers cholesterol

There you have it. Those are the main reasons why it is a super-food. It is amazing for such a plain vegetable to have so many important uses and powers it is a bit of a hero, Captain Kale!
Kale can be eaten in many ways. A growing trend is juicing and luckily my sister received a power juicer for Christmas so hopefully I will be able to do a bit of juicing. Another easy way of eating this leafy green is by boiling it lightly and then whenever you like drain it out and add some melted butter and there is an easy side-dish that anyone can make.

How to grow Kale in a Pot

  • Choose a fairly large planting pot and fill it using organic compost.
  • Make a few 1/2 inch deep holes and put in a seed and another for luck.
  • keep the pot in a sheltered place and away from strong sunlight and make sure you keep the soil watered and moist.
  • If the seedlings get too bit transplant the smaller ones into other pots so you get even more Kale. You can begin harvesting in about 2 months after transplanting the seedlings.
I really hope you found this blog post interesting and please share it with your friends and on social media to spread the word about this great vegetable that is really easy to get and grow. Have a great day!


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

2014 is just around the corner, sit tight we are in for a ride!

A white Christmas! 25/12/13
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to everyone! Another Christmas has been and gone in a flash. The highlights for us was eating our own homegrown vegetables for dinner and spending that all important time with family. What about you what did you enjoy most? Maybe the crisp sounds of opening presents or the smell of snow, yes snow does have a smell!

I was fortunate enough to get some lovely gifts from my friends and family. Sport gear, guitar accessories and chocolate. But what I really liked was a device that looks, well like this:
Now what on earth could it be? A pen, a special telescope? If you follow my Facebook page you will already know what it is, a refractometer. This is a clever gadget that test the nutrient quality of vegetables and apples so I can find how high the quality of our homegrown produce are. Proud to say that our apples rate 15 which is just above good on the chart. Here is a description that I find that shows it really does do it's job as a quality tester.

Within the given species of plant, the crop with the higher refractive index will have a higher sugar content, higher mineral content , higher protein content and a greater specific gravity or density. This adds up to sweeter tasting, more minerally nutritious food with lower nitrate and water content, lower freezing point and better storage attributes. 

I am so pleased how clever this thing is, the lemons we used to put on some Salmon were 9 which was above good, but sadly the oranges we brought for the cake scored 7 which was between average and good so I need to find a healthier source. Anyway this is the coolest thing I have ever had. I am hoping to go around local and national shows one day (with permission obviously) to test which person has won the highest quality apple or any other fruit or vegetable. I have the feeling many videos will be on the way about this!

Anyway 2014 is less than a week away and a brand new year so what will I be up to - well exams. But that won't take up the whole year because this is going to be a gardening extravaganza like Ray would say. That rhymes but anyway lets keep on track. Hopefully and I will try and persevere to do it is write my first gardening or cooking e-book, that is my target and a project to start on these cold miserable winter nights. I think it will be fun and also get some of you to contribute some stuff if you want and get a honorable mention or something. But that is the first thing I would like to do. Secondly it to improve my YouTube channel, another present I got from a guy named Santa, you might have heard of him, is a really cool video editing program and it looks great so that should add a bit of fun. Also invest in a new camera so the videos won't look slightly squashed and get a nice microphone for better sound quality. Finally I am hoping to make some gardening related products and I have some thing in mind like 'Christmas in a box' but I am going to keep this quiet in case some rotten-spuds will steal my idea.

So that's that. I can't wait for this new year to start and hopefully we will all have great fun, but for now go back and enjoy the rest of your night.

Merry Christmas! Ho ho ho!