Kale Tips

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Kale and Oxalic Acid  Visiting Qld Garden Expo in Nambour, I was surprised to see a few plant labels saying Kale could be used in salads and you also see recipes using it in drinks. To limit oxalic acid consumption, blanch it. Contrary to what some books say, cooking does not destroy oxalic acid. However, blanching your greens for a few minutes and disposing of the water leaches out roughly one third of the oxalic acid. That’s one third of total oxalic acid but most of the soluble oxalic acid. The insoluble ones that remain pass right through us so although you may also lose some nutrients, we can recommend this method. (Consider watering some plants with the cooled cooking water to keep those nutrients in the system!)  In lower doses, oxalic acid can be considered an anti-nutrient, limiting the absorption of some nutrients, particularly calcium and iron. When oxalic acid combines with calcium and some of these other minerals it creates oxalate crystals, which can contribute to kidney stones, gout, vulvodynia and rheumatoid arthritis in some people. Probiotics is another strategy. Naturally occurring gut flora bacteria Oxalobacter formigenes break down oxalates as a food source. Many antibiotics may kill these beneficial bugs, increasing the risk of kidney stones and the other mentioned symptoms, so if you’ve ever taken antibiotics and have these symptoms, you might consider consulting your doctor to see if specific Oxalobacter probiotics are available. Fermented foods and off-the-shelf probiotics can help also. The common Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria as found in yoghurt and sauerkraut can also break down oxalic acid. One foraging note is that oxalic acid tends to be in higher concentrations in plants during dry conditions. Read the full article here: www.eatthatweed.com/oxalic-acid/