Showing posts with label Microwave Cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Microwave Cooking. Show all posts

How to Make Kale Tea Recipe and Health, Digestion Warnings

Latest update: February 11, 2024. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

All about the amazing wonder food, kale. Includes nutrition information, salad and dinner cooking recipe information, and the recipe for kale tea.

Typical kale leaves at the grocery store for making and drinking kale tea

This page is about kale; including nutrition and diet information (especially concerning lutein, zeaxanthin, AMD) and an extremely easy recipe for kale tea. If you are here just for the kale tea recipe, simply scroll to the green teacup marker at around the middle of the page. Do peruse the digestion and health notes.

What Is Kale and Availability – The Basics

Kale is a dark, green, leafy vegetable from the cabbage family; other examples being cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. However, kale can also be regarded as a lettuce for the purposes of most salad recipes.

Kale is one of the foods which is often included in what might be called the super food or wonder food category. The nutritional content and the benefits derived therefrom makes this a food one wants as part of their regular diet.

In addition to it's nutritional value, there is growing evidence kale actually inhibits and can even fight some diseases; most notable of these being macular degeneration, cataracts, and some forms of cancer.

Store Availability and Forms

Any competent grocery store will have it. You can buy kale fresh and whole in the produce section. Or, if your store is doing their job right, you can buy it already in pieces, shredded, sliced, diced, minced, etc.

For a food so rich in nutritional value and benefits, the price is amazingly low. If the price isn't low, find another store.

Kale Benefits and Nutrition Data

Percentages and amounts (in milligrams) are based on a 2,000-calorie diet and 3.3 oz. kale servings. "~" is the mathematical symbol used to identify a number as an approximation.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin: ~600%. These are the two nutrients that have made kale famous. The body of evidence continues to mount that lutein and zeaxanthin actually inhibits and/or wards off macular degeneration. There is even some evidence lutein and zeaxanthin can reverse macular degeneration to some extent. Kale is the number one food source for lutein. Spinach is usually recognized as coming in second. You can buy lutein in pill form, but the FDA states they have not confirmed the quantity or quality of lutein in these products. The generally accepted daily dosage for lutein is 6 mg. The average American diet falls woefully short of this amount. A 3.3 oz. serving of kale has ~37 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Beta Carotene: ~7 mg. An antioxidant, precursor that converts to vitamin A. Antioxidants are generally believed to help prevent certain kinds of cancer. Vitamin C helps the body deal with stress.
  • Potassium: 420 mg. 12%
  • Calcium: 15%
  • Iron: 8%
  • Vitamin K: 950%
  • Vitamin A: 290%
  • Vitamin C: 190%
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 6%
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 8%
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 4%
  • Vitamin B6: 15%
  • Folate aka Folic Acid (Vitamin B9): 6%
  • Phosphorus: 6%
  • Magnesium: 8%
  • Copper: 15%
  • Manganese: 35%

Kale Recipe Basics

Kale requires a little more chewing effort than the other cabbage-category items or lettuce. It also has a tendency to make a person feel full sooner than usual. One might want to adjust portions accordingly, particularly as to salads.

Salad Recipes

Kale Salad Recipes

By the simple process of adding kale to the other ingredients, pretty much any salad recipe is also a kale recipe. The only decision is how much kale to include. The more kale included, the more the kale taste and other effects are emphasized. Only you can decide how much is enough and how much is too much.

Vegetable, Stews Casseroles, Chili Recipes

Kale Hot Meal Recipes

A Surprising Note About Cooked Kale

Cooking kale almost doubles the amount of lutein metabolized. This has to do with the heating process unlocking certain components of the kale molecular structure, releasing lutein which would otherwise not be available for the digestive system. It should be mentioned that cooking/boiling/heating usually degrades the nutritional value of most food. The kale-lutein molecular structure is unusual in this respect.

Virtually all casserole, stew, hot vegetable, and chili recipes can include the addition of kale. However, with these dishes, the determining factor is how much kale do you wish to include with the existing recipe ingredients.

If the objective is one of nutrition only, then one would add only so much kale. If, however, the objective is creating a true kale casserole or true kale hot vegetable dish or stew, or chili concoction; then you would add enough to result in making kale the predominant taste. It is a matter of degree only you can decide.

In whatever case, this is where the sliced/diced/minced/max-shredded form is used. Stems and full leaves are not recommended.

The Easy Kale Tea Recipe
and a Digestion Note and Health Warning

Kale Tea Recipe

Do you want the nutrition, but don't want to deal with the recipes and cooking? Many people just drink kale tea.

Kale tea is not difficult to make, though do note the health and digestion warnings that follow.
  1. Put 2, 3 or 4 medium-to-large pieces of kale in a microwaveable cup, depending on cup size. If you are a first-timer, probably best to start with just two pieces.
  2. Fill to three-fourths full of water; push the pieces under water if need be.
  3. Microwave for 4:44 minutes:seconds (your microwave results may vary). In fact, keep an eye on it; it may over-boil; also, the kale may expand and need to be tamped back down during the process.
  4. Be careful when removing from microwave. The cup will be hot, including the handle.
  5. Tamp down again.
  6. Optionally add water as needed.
  7. Stir it. Let cool. Stir again.
  8. Remove the  pieces of kale.
  9. You have your kale tea. And it's perfectly fine to drink any remaining, tiny pieces which may happen to be floating around; after all, it's kale.
Once you are a pro, you will probably do the following...
  1. Stuff the bottom third of a microwaveable cup full of kale.
  2. Fill to three-fourths full of water; push the leaves under the water if need be.
  3. Microwave for 4:44 minutes:seconds (your microwave results may vary).
  4. Maybe add some water.
  5. Stir it. Let cool. Stir again.
  6. Doesn't bother to remove any of the kale.
  7. Drinks all the liquid.
  8. Empties cup of the remaining kale into trash or refills cup a little over half-full of water, microwaves for another 3:33 minutes:seconds, drinks second cup of weaker tea.
Boiling water. And of course, there is certainly nothing wrong with...
  1. Boiling the water on the stove.
  2. Pouring the water into your prepared cup.
  3. Letting the leaves sit awhile and stir.
  4. Etc.

Kale Health and Digestion Notes

Keeping in mind the high concentrations of nutrients, don't go overboard. Drink no more than one cup the first time or so. See how your digestion handles it. Do it when you plan on being home for the next few hours.

This is also a good time to mention that too much vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and certain other vitamins and minerals on a regular basis, can actually be deleterious to one's health. On the other hand, even just one ounce of kale is a lot of kale; so you don't have that much to worry about. One full ounce of kale is about a third of the above specified nutritional percentages. Just keep in mind what other foods and liquids you are regularly consuming.

What with kale tea being so packed with vitamins and minerals, it can be used to occasionally replace a meal in weight loss programs. Kale tea is also an effective appetite suppressant. For that matter, it would be perfect for use in the infamous Military Diet.

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Exploding Baked Potato in Microwave or Oven - How to Pierce / Prevent / Cook

Latest update: April 7, 2023. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Yes, Potatoes Really Do Explode. How to Safely Cook a Potato and Prevent from Exploding in Oven or Microwave. Stabbing and Poking Holes in Them Is Not the Safest nor the Best Way.

Do Potatoes Explode? Yes They Do.

Here's about preventing potato explosions when baking or cooking potatoes in the oven or microwave, and the method actually makes things much safer and more convenient.  Also includes microwaving times and recipe toppings suggestions.

How to microwave or otherwise cook non exploding baked potatoes.

Why Do Potatoes Explode?

Whether by oven or microwave, the potato is heated above the boiling point of water. The volume ratio of water to steam is approximately 1:1700. So when the potato is heated, an unpleasant surprise can sometimes happen. If you are lucky, the explosion occurs in the oven or microwave during cooking; thus only making a ruined potato and a major mess. If you are unlucky, the thing explodes as you are removing it.

How to Prevent Exploding Potatoes

Basically one must vent the potato, purpose being to give the steam escape routes so there is no pressure buildup.

Piercing / Pricking / Slicing a Potato

The method most folks use leaves a lot to be desired. They hold the potato steady with one hand while repeatedly poking and stabbing it with the other hand using a knife, fork, or ice pick. The statistics are not known as to how many people cut or stab themselves every year using this method. The potato then makes the round trip to the oven or microwave, after which they put on an oven mitt and cut the steaming thing in half lengthwise. There's a much better way...

The Safe and Better Way on How to Prepare Your Potato for the Microwave or Oven

  1. Wash the potato with water.
  2. Then dry with paper towels or whatever.
  3. Slice the potato in half lengthwise.
  4. Place both halves flat side down on a microwave-usable dish. If using paper plates, use more than one; otherwise, the plate(s) might break through from the moisture when removing from the microwave.
  5. Slicing the potato in half obviously reduces the explosion risk, but putting a couple more holes in each half won't hurt. What with the potato halves laying flat side down, your potato situation is now much more stable. However you probably still want to steady the potato and keep it from sliding when you poke the holes in it.
  6. When poking the holes, have the sharp side of the knife facing away from your other hand. Instead of stabbing, just gently push the knife tip through the potato.
  7. Then while still holding the potato, slowly pull/wiggle the knife out at an angle away from the other hand. Two equally spaced holes in each half should do it.
  8. Your spud is now oven and microwave ready.

How Long? Potato Microwave Times, etc.

  1. With the potato halves still flat side down on your plate, put in microwave. Microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Rotate a quarter turn. Microwave for 3 more minutes.
The above microwaving times are for two halves of a baker potato in a 900-watt oven. Microwaving times can vary depending on the wattage and age of the oven. If you are using a 700 or 1100 watt oven, adjust microwaving time accordingly. If you are putting four halves in there, lengthen the microwaving time accordingly.

It is possible to over-microwave a potato, thus making it rubbery; so, underestimating is always your best course of action. If it's not perfect on your first attempt, you'll have a pretty good idea of how to make it so on your second. And if you discover when cutting the potatoes that they are not completely cooked, not a big deal; back in the microwave they go for another minute or so.

Microwaving Canned Potatoes

Microwaving those little potatoes that come in a can? Those little critters always explode and splatter, even when you cut them up beforehand. Always put a cover over them before microwaving the specified 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Otherwise you will very likely have a mess to cleanup.

Potato Recipes – Things to Add to Your Potato

A baked potato worthy of the name.
A baked potato worthy of the name.

Keeping in mind the potatoes are hot and depending on how long you want to wait, flip the potatoes flat side up. Make both horizontal and vertical slices in the potatoes so that the condiments and/or toppings will run into the gaps and crevices.

List of Potato Toppings Making It All Worthwhile...

The Basics

  • Regular Salt
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper 
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Chives
  • Bacon Bits
  • Cheese 
  • Sliced/Diced Olives
  • Sliced/Diced Green Onions 

Other Toppings Folks Have Been Known to Add

  • Chili
  • Other Onion Varieties
  • Gravy
  • Avocados
  • Favorite Meats
  • Favorite Vegetables
  • Favorite Spices
  • Favorite Herbs
  • Favorite Seasonings
  • Favorite Sauces
  • Favorite Dressings
  • Pretty much their favorite anything.
When your masterpiece is complete, there is certainly nothing wrong with putting it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds as needed.

May all your potato masterpieces be awesome.

Meanwhile, here's a page about the possible and sometimes real dangers of Green Potatoes.

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