Today I realized I sadly neglected the Eat Like A Rabbit Series, so here we go. The goal is to offer our rabbits a large variety of vegetables every day without wasting any of it – and in the process, we end up eating healthier. Not bad. This time I wanted to talk about kale, because that is definitely one of those greens that frequently goes through our fridge, but never ends up on our own plates. Even though we do eat salads, kale doesn’t seem appealing enough to ever add it in. Kale is generally sold in large quantities, so Bunny can never eat it all before it goes bad. We need to pull all the stops to get this vegetable into our bodies!
And we definitely want to eat more kale… After all, it has no fat, is high in iron, high in fiber, has large amounts of antioxidants, and is known to be an anti-inflammatory. It also has Vitamin A, C, and K, and calcium.
Kale is a vegetable with green or slightly purple leaves. We see the curly type most often, but it also comes with straight leaves. Even though it looks like a type of lettuce, it really belongs to the same plant family as cabbage and has a strong taste to it. Bunny gets about half a big leaf or one small leaf for breakfast and dinner until we are out of kale. We buy it every 2-3 weeks for him and rinse it thoroughly before offering it. Rabbits can eat the whole piece of kale, but we humans generally prefer to remove the stem. And to be honest, so does our Bunny. He’s spoiled that way.
It takes several days for kale to wilt, but you can keep it fresh extra-long by putting it in a large zip-lock bag along with a damp paper towel and leave the bag in the fridge. Alternatively, simply put it in a glass of water on the counter. Be sure to remove all rubber bands and ties first.
The following recipe was given to us by friends when we got married and until now, we kept it in our pantry and ignored it. Last week, when Bunny had a large amount of kale left, we finally decided to give it a shot. And these chips tasted surprisingly good! Definitely a great alternative to unhealthy snacks and to throwing excess kale away, because Bunny couldn’t eat it all…
Yummy Treat: Kale Chips
1 bunch of Kale
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Vinegar
Salt/Spices to Taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (or 150 degrees C). Wash the kale and remove the stem from each leaf, so that only the soft parts remain. Cut or tear the leaves into chip-sized pieces. Place in zip-lock bag along with the oil and vinegar and shake. Put evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15min or until crunchy. Salt and spice to taste and enjoy!
Growing up, my mother would make huge pots of “Gruenkohl” (kale) with sausage and it was delicious. It’s a famous dish in northern Germany and people celebrate the “Gruenkohl” season every year. My mother would make the recipe with kale from a can that already included the right combination of spices and we’d eat it over boiled potatoes. I don’t think she ever made it from fresh kale and I’ve personally never made it at all. Here goes a recipe from AllRecipes.com I am determined to try out next time we get kale for Bunny.
Main Dish: Gruenkohl with Sausage
1 pound kale, stemmed and chopped
3 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cups water, or as needed to cover
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 pound thickly sliced cooked ham, or to taste
4 links kielbasa sausage
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and stir in the kale; boil for 1 minute, and remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Set the blanched kale aside. Place bacon into a large skillet over medium heat, and cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Stir in the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the blanched kale, and cook until kale is bright green and starting to turn tender, about 4 minutes. Pour in enough water to cover, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and stir in the beef bouillon granules and nutmeg. Simmer the kale until tender, about 30 minutes. Stir the mustard into the kale, and lay the ham slices and sausage links on top. Simmer the kale, ham, and sausages until the sausages are cooked through, about 35 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper before serving. (source: allrecipes.com)
Hopefully, this post will inspire all the kale skeptics such as us to give this super-healthy vegetable another shot. If your rabbit doesn’t currently eat kale, be sure to feed only small amounts at a time and to introduce it slowly.
If you have a great kale recipe you would like to share, we’d love to hear it! Please feel free to comment below.