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Broccoli Leaf – More useful than you think!

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You know those leaves on the side of your broccoli head? Yes those ones you usually throw away? They are the new superfood with good reason because they are loaded with vitamin A, C & K, folates, potassium and fibre – which are all great for detox and aid good digestion. The leaves are also VERY rich in calcium and broccoli being a green leafy vegetable, the leaves are also rich in antioxidants and minerals that help keep us healthy and strong. I also like the broccoli leaf because it offers more versatility in the kitchen than the broccoli heads themselves.

This ‘new’ broccoleaf has been heavily commercialized in some countries, but few here at home are aware of the benefits of this ‘waste’. On top of that, brocolli is usually sold without leaves in most markets and stores. When I can’t find a good amount of brocolli leaf, I simply add a small bunch of kale and cook them together.

To get the most nutrients from this unique superfood, the best way to consume it is raw or lightly cooked. A green smoothie or a green juice, broccoleaf works well in both, of course balanced out with some fruits, nuts and/or seeds for flavor and more nutrition.

 

INGREDIENT QUANTITY PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
Broccoli leaf From 1 head of brocolli Free when available
Broccoli 1 head 170 per kg
Red Onion 1 small 120 per kg
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 1/3 teaspoon N/A
Unsalted Butter 1/3 teaspoon N/A
Sukuma wiki (Kale) 1 bunch 25/- per bunch

N/A = Not YET available at Mboga Masters

 

Method

  1. Chop up your broccoleaf and some little sukuma wiki as well as some red onions.
  2. Steam your chopped broccoli florets for about 3 minutes. I prefer using a bamboo steamer which you can buy from Healthy U or get a regular steamer from the supermarket. (Yes you could boil them today but next time please get a steamer, really makes a huge difference)
  3. Remove the steamed broccoli and set in a cool place. (Many chefs here would recommend ‘shocking’ the broccoli in ice/cold water to stop cooking but the steamer cooks it very gently so you don’t have to really do that.)
  4. Heat frying pan, add ⅓ teaspoon coconut oil and ⅓ teaspoon unsalted butter and heat till the butter is brown in color.
  5. Drop in the onions and cook until slightly brown, about 3 minutes, medium heat.
  6. Chop up your broccoleaf and kale, season with a pinch of sea/natural Himalayan salt and a grind of black pepper.
  7. Add to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes.
  8. Serve with chapati and bean stew

 

Going Green and Healthy – Easier than you think

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You may already be eating healthy – you eat meat in moderate amounts, you eat fruits and vegetables every day, and even use olive oil and sea salt. But there is still more you can do, for example, you could make your home a little more eco-friendly. I am not talking about going off the grid and supplying your own energy from the sun, wind, biofuel :-), though that would be great if you could pull it off, but I am talking about replacing common household chemicals with often cheaper and often more effective alternatives.

1. Soap

Most soaps are made from petroleum products and are often laced with a cocktail of sometimes harmful chemicals. Organic soap is available in Kenya at specialized health stores such as Healthy U. You could also choose to make it at home. You could even use kipande which has less chemicals and color and is quietly but widely used in the beauty industry.

2. Cleaners

Convenient yes, but did you know that baking soda is a very effective and natural cleaning ingredient? It is effective on its own, but when mixed with white distilled vinegar and  fresh lemon juice, the concoction can literally clean anything and everything. From a very dirty oven, to the floor. Ok, you could add a tiny bit of powdered soap, which gives it that lather and you can then clean the house or wash clothes with it.

3. Shower

 Everyone loves a hot shower but new studies have shown that the chlorine often used to treat water can react with the heat and create harmful compounds which may cause you to feel tired and dizzy after a long hot shower.

You could simply choose take shorter showers (which is better for your power bills and the environment), ensure maximum aeration in your bathroom and take advantage of cold showers where possible. For example, I bath with cold water everyday after my work out.

4. Cosmetics

Extra virgin coconut oil acts as the perfect lotion, shaving cream and deodorant. You can also get some natural make up products from your local health store or switch to homemade DIYs

Healthy Chef Kahonge

Home made (and healthy!) popcorn

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Popcorn and Health

Pop corn is a snack that has become especially popular within most malls or shopping centers. It is increasingly being consumed by both children and adults. However, mass-produced popcorn is often cooked with unhealthy fats so making them at home is much healthier where you can control how they are made. Not only is it a great after-school snack for the kids, but it can also be incorporated into a weight loss/healthy eating/lifestyle.

Popcorn is rich in protein which will make you feel full for longer periods of time.  Since it is a wholegrain, it is also rich in fibre which slows down digestion and keeps food cravings down.

INGREDIENT QUANTITY PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
Coconut Oil 1/3 teaspoon N/A
Unsalted Butter 1/3 teaspoon N/A
Sea/ Himalayan Salt   N/A
Black Pepper in Grinder   N/A

*N/A = Not YET available at Mboga Masters

Using extra virgin coconut oil to make the popcorn takes care of any fat worries because it is a super healthy fat and the sea/natural salt plus black pepper seasonings keep it clean while adding tonnes of flavor. The only slightly questionable ingredient is unsalted butter, which however when used in moderation adds a lot of flavor to popcorn while keeping them moist.

Method

  1. Gently heat the pot with 1/3 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1/3 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
  2. Season your corn with a pinch of sea/Himalayan salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Put the 1 cup of seasoned pop corn into the pot and cover, medium-low heat and let it just pop.
  4. Listen very carefully as the cooking stops when the popping sound stops, immediately remove from the pan, DO NOT uncover, just let it rest for about 5 minutes and then serve, movie time J