Ask the Vegan Chef
Question from Cecilia:
Is it true that kale and spinach should be blanched a bit before eating so as not to leach out the calcium in ones body?
There is overwhelming scientific evidence that suggests that animal products, especially dairy leech the calcium from our bones due to a high concentration of sulfur which tends to acidify the blood. The body attempts to neutralize the acid by breaking down bones, which get reabsorbed into the bloodstream, causing weakening of our bones (osteoporosis),and a whole host of other medical problems like food allergies, asthma, obesity, and heart disease. Meats and eggs contain two to five times more sulfur than is found in most plant foods.
However, there is a grain of truth in your statement. Most brassica greens have thick cell walls, and if not weakened, then many of the nutrients they contain will move through your system without being properly absorbed.
When I cook with raw kale, I massage the leaves by rolling them in the palms of my hands. If you do this you may notice the leaves change color to a darker green. The end result will be a softer, more pliable leaf, which will be much more nutrionally beneficial. The other way I prepare raw kale is to add it to any smoothie. By blending the leaves you agitate the cell walls and release the desired nutrients.
So the short answer is, No, you don’t have to blanch the kale, but you do have to massage or break up the leaves to get the nutrients out if you want to eat it raw.
Thanks for your question!
Ask our Vegan Chef your cooking and baking questions. We’ll post answers to selected questions in our e-newletters or our email@example.com