I tried some Kale today. I couldn't help but notice, that stuff just tastes bad. I'd rather just stick with my spinach and brussel sprouts instead. But it got me to thinking, if Kale is supposed to be so healthy, then why do my taste buds reject it? Is there something in there that is bad for me? Or could the plant have made itself bad tasting just to deter me? Is all bad flavor caused by toxins?
As a general rule in the plant kingdom, if something tastes bad to you, at minimum it will cause discomfort in large enough doses. Kale's a cruciferous vegetable (also known as a brassica), and that whole group of vegetables seems to have anti-thyroid activity. I read in The Economist some years ago that a genetic variation's been found in people that determines whether cruciferous veggies taste bitter to them. It is thought the variation that makes them taste bitter developed in people who lived far enough away from the sea that they did not have a lot of iodine sources in their diet.
I just looked kale up on Wikipedia and checked out the "culinary uses" section of the article and the first paragraph talks about kale being tasty in salads. That had to have been written by an American. (Most of us are so far divorced from traditional foods that we just will come out with stupidity like this. "Oh! I know! I bet rhubarb leaves are edible!") Every other culinary use listed involves cooking. From what I understand, cooking neutralizes the anti-thyroid chemicals in cruciferous veggies somewhat. Not coincidentally, I'm sure, it also seems to destroy the bitterness.
How do other brassicas taste to you? Are they all yucky when raw? If so, you've got that genetic variation. If not, maybe the kale you're buying is crappy--maybe it's a variety that doesn't taste so good, or maybe it was harvested too early. The Wikipedia article mentions that being exposed to frost makes kale sweeter. Either way, cooking the kale instead of eating it raw might make a difference in the taste.
Or, just stick with veggies you like. It sounds like you enjoy some healthy ones already.
The best way to ingest kale is in chip form. Shred into chip size, slather in melted coconut oil, cook at 425 for about 15 minutes on a baking sheet. Light crispy chips.
(recipe is as related to me by the wife so some details may be lacking, all I know is I like them and the kids do too)
Are you eating it totally raw? Try marinating it, if you're so inclined to give it another go). Place "marinated kale salad" in your browser and you'll find a LOT of tasty recipes.
What you'll find are links to many raw vegan sites, so you know the slant there. HOWEVER, there is some nutritional basis for marinating (fermenting) foods to bring out the nutrition, neutralize the toxins/irritants and make it edible, if this is something you want on your menu.
Please report back what you discover!
I tried kale for the first time recently too. I mixed some into a salad I made for my family. My wife didn't like it either and my kids didn't notice too much. I tried again, but this time I sauted some with free range duck fat. Wife and kids are still not big fans, but I like this way better than in the salad, ( although I didn't hate it in the salad either). My point being that just because it tastes bad to you doesn't mean others wont like it and could be benificial. I hate blue cheese, it tastes like rotting trash to me, but to others its the cats meow, go figure.
You know, I was wondering the exact. same. thing. the other day when I was chowing down on a grapefruit. I love how it tastes at first, but the aftertaste is like death in my mouth. I can't eat or drink anything in a half-hour window of consuming one, lest the bitterness rise up and make me gag. I'm willing to bet that grapefruits probably don't shine to being eaten too much, either. :)
many people contend that there are just as many phytotoxins as phytonutrients in plants. there sure are a lot of examples of this! of course, taken to extreme, this all leads to not really feeling safe eating anything.
I have been juicing 4 lbs of kale for 16 days strait. let me tell you something about kale. I was getting kale from trader joes. first batch I bought them out on tasted great. them they got morw and the next batch tasted nasty like bandaids.... very gross. went to whole foods to buy organic kale. awesome again. then got some from a small farm down the street. not as nasty but a bandaid taste is there again. no idea why. but I wish it wasn't there. kale is the best feeling food I have ever juiced in my life. after the first pound. feels like adderall to me from when I was a kid. no idea about bandaiad taste though. don't give up on it!!! number on super food!!!!!!!!!
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