Sukuma Wiki is evidenced to have been grown as far back as 2000 years ago with the ancient Greeks. Kenya’s arable land and the plant’s sturdy nature makes it easy to grow here. Long before it was trendy in the west, Kenyans were well ahead of the curve fueling their bodies with this superfood, which means to “push the week” or “stretch the week.” The Swahili name could not be more spot on. Although very few people probably know the nutritional make-up of this superfood, it’s true that its nutritional content of certain vitamins exceeds daily recommend- ed values by far.
A cup will get you more than the daily recommended dose of vitamin A, C and K. It also provides a great source of easily absorbable calcium, and has minerals like copper, potas- sium, iron, manganese and phospho- rus. The antioxidants and phytonutrients in sukuma wiki prevent disease and ageing. It is very low in calories but has 3 grams of protein and 2.6 grams of fiber per one cup serving.
Kale contains an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes. Now that we have enough incentive to keep eating it, here are ways to incorporate it into your diet:
Sauté: The Kenyan way of sauté- ing with tomatoes and onions is delicious, but there are countless other ways to cook with sukuma wiki. You can sauté with olive oil and a bit of parmesan cheese and pine nuts for a more Italian variation, or stir fry it with other meats and veggies. Because of its sturdy constitution, it holds up well to sautéing.
Green juice: If you are short on time, blend it into a drink! I always advise to drink your greens if you don’t love salads. Combine with green apple, ginger, cucumber, mint, ice and water and get all the veggies you need for the entire day in a glass.
Kale chips: Season with olive oil and your favourite flavours and bake on low heat for 30 minutes.
Raw kale salads: This is a great picnic salad because it doesn’t get soggy. Kale holds up well with dress- ing. It is great balanced with dried fruits and nuts like cranberries and slivered almonds. Another option is sweet corn, black beans and cherry tomatoes for a more latin alternative.
Soups and curries: Sukuma wiki is wonderful added to soups and cur- ries. Be sure to add it in at the very end to maintain the nutritional integ- rity. Cooking for too long will destroy vitamins and some minerals.