K is for Kiwifruit, Kidney Beans and Kale

Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit are also known by the name of Chinese Gooseberry. They are native to North-Central and Eastern China however it was not until they spread to New Zealand were they first commercially cultivated. Kiwifruit or kiwi as it is shortened to, are about the size of a largeK is for Kiwifruit, Kidney Beans and Kale hen’s egg 5-8 cm long with a diameter of 4.5-5.5 cm. The skin is brown in colour and fibrous in nature, and the flesh inside is bright green or golden with rows of tiny, edible black seeds.

Kiwi are packed full of essential vitamins. One kiwi will give you 85% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C (more than that of an orange), and 31% of your Vitamin K. It also has many health benefits including helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure due to its potassium content, aids digestive health due to its high fibre content and is a good source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant known to protect against skin degeneration.

To peel or to cut in half, what is the easiest way to eat a kiwi? I find that if I am eating a whole kiwi it is easiest to chop it in half and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon However if you are using it for a fruit salad it is better to peel it with a knife then chop up. If you are adding kiwi to fruit salad, add it at the last minute as it tends to make other fruit soft.

 

Kidney Beans

Unsurprisingly, kidney beans are named due to their similarity in shape to a kidney. The red kidney bean is the one we are most familiar with however there are others. There are also light speckled kidney beans and red speckled kidney bean. We use kidney beans as an essential part of chilli con carne and they are widely used in Creole cooking and are an integral part of Northern Indian cooking.K is for Kiwifruit, Kidney Beans and Kale

Kidney beans are originally from Peru, Indian traders spread them to South and Central America. In the 15th Century the Spanish explorers brought them to Europe when returning from their voyages to the New World. The Spanish and Portugese subsequently introduced them into Africa and Asia. Their inexpensive source of protein has made them popular all over the World.

Kidney beans are sold either dried or cooked and canned. Either way they are a valuable source of protein, iron and cholesterol lowering fibre. Their high fiber content helps to prevent blood sugar levels raising too rapidy after a meal.

 

Kale

Kale also known as leaf cabbage, is a member of the the cabbage family however its leaves do not form a central head like sprinK is for Kiwifruit, Kidney Beans and Kaleg cabbage. Until the end of the Middle Ages it was one of the most common green veg in Europe. It is really good for us as it is packed full of iron, fibre, calcium and vitamins A,C and K.

Kale is still widely used in European cuisine, notably Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal. The easiest way to cook it is to remove the tough stalk and then steam it. Kale has quite a strong cabbage taste and can be bitter so if you have not tried it before just cook a little and mix it with other veg, or add it to a stew. Unlike spinach kale does not wilt down to the same extent so just put in the pan what you want.

 

Fun Facts

Kiwifruit
  • 1 million tons of kiwifruit are produced every year, the main producers are Italy, New Zealand and Chilli
  • bees are the main pollinators of kiwifruit plants.
  • kiwifruit are often used as an ingredient in face mask
Kidney Beans
  • newlyweds in Nicaragua are given a bowl of beans for luck
  • an archaeologist working in New Mexico in the 1980’s discovered a clay pot sealed with pine. Inside the pot were bean seeds 1,500 years old. The seeds grew!
  • US navy beans got their name from being associated with the US navy. They were that last food to eat on a ship when the fresh food ran out
Kale
  • gram for gram, kale has more than twice the amount of Vitamin C than an orange
  • until the 2013 surge in the popularity of kale, the biggest consumer of kale in the USA was Pizza Hut. It was not used in their recipes but to decorate the salad bowls

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