Most Americans have absolutely no idea where their food comes from, where their meat was sourced from, and where their produce was grown. We have such a disconnect with the food we feed ourselves; the trusty fuel we put into our bodies and trust that it's safe, it's good for our kids, it's clean. We shop organic to give ourselves a Peace of Mind, and we trust that the standards of 'Organic' set by the USDA are free of harmful chemicals and naturally grown and raised. But buying Organic still doesn't cut down on the cost of travel and shipment of your food. Today, in the US, the average meal travels 1500 miles from farm to plate (insert shocked face emoji). The cause for concern with this, as you may be wondering, is the fossil fuel consumption (NON-renewable resource) and the carbon dioxide emissions (major pollutant to our atmosphere) are all increased at staggering amounts just from importing oranges to Los Angeles from New Zealand. It's unneeded and the connection is lost in an intimate relationship as old as humans: YOU and YOUR FOOD.
Today I had the pleasure of hanging with my friend Chris Mattingly, owner of a small and local business called Backyard Eats . We talked about his business, which designs and installs custom gardens into your very own yard, and maintains them for you too! Having the ability to watch your food grow, to harvest your food (pick it) and to cook with your food is the ultimate way to know where it comes from and appreciate it's bounty. Chris is incredibly knowledgeable, focused, creative and perhaps most importantly: he has a hell of a green thumb (a civil engineer with a focus on soil and environmental engineering). Backyard Eats is located right here in Chestnut Hill, and Chris works with customers within the area to design their garden for their personal needs or just maintain a garden you've already got growin'.
AND THEN...we harvested kale.
We plucked fresh Lacinato (dinosaur) kale from the cold ground in Chris' front yard (pictured above). After we picked the kale, we rinsed it in a colander and gave it a few spins in a salad spinner (patting it dry with a paper towel works, too!). Then I thanked Chris for his kindness in sharing, and ran home with my fresh kale. My recipe is below for you to enjoy, and so are it's health benefits!
I cooked up some Kale Chips
I love sharing recipes with you guys, especially using the platform of Cycle Fitness because this is WHAT we believe in. Eating delicious recipes, that are healthful and sustainable. Fueling our active bodies with love and the good stuff. This recipe is SUPER simple and quick. Check it out:
What you'll need:
(PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 degrees)
KALE. 12 Leafs, de-stemmed and torn to bite size pieces. Get it organic ($2.99 a bunch at most stores) and try to get it LOCAL.
SEA SALT (I use Himalayan and I love the crunch and flavor). About 1 tsp
Olive Oil. Preferably Extra Virgin! One tablespoon. You don't need much since Kale is so thin and doesn't absorb much. Just a light coating will crisp these babies up.
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and make sure that the Kale is evenly coated. Then spread it out on a baking sheet! I personally used a large glass baking dish and had no problems with sticking.
BAKE for 10-12 minutes. REMOVE from oven and let sit for 3 minutes before removing.
KALE BENEFIT BREAKDOWN: HIGH IN FIBER, MAGNESIUM, SULFER (DETOXING), CALCIUM, IRON, VITAMINS A, C AND K, ANTIOXIDANT-RICH AND AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOOD (OMEGA 3'S)
IT'S OBVIOUS WHY THIS SUPERFOOD GAINED GREAT POPULARITY YEARS AGO.