Prisco’s Family Market

1108 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL 60506 | 630-264-9400

Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 am to 8:30 pm | Saturday, 7 am to 8 pm | Sunday, 8 am to 7 pm

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All Hail to Kale- Friday, August 29, 2014

Not too long ago Kale was a real unknown in the world of vegetables. People thought of it as nothing more than a plate garnish of even a lower status than parsley. Lately, however, that’s no longer the case. Kale has become much more popular ever since word spread about its remarkable nutritional value.

One cup of chopped kale has more Vitamin C than an orange, and it’s also a very good source of Vitamin A. Kale also provides more calcium per 100 grams than you will get in 100 grams of milk!

We don't typically think of our greens as sources of even healthful fats. But kale is actually a great source of (ALA), the omega-3 fatty acid that's essential for brain health, and which reduces Type 2 diabetes risk and boosts heart health.

Don’t overdo it

A quick word of caution: Like with anything, too much of such a good thing as kale can be non-beneficial. “There are a couple of controversial things about kale that are worth mentioning," says Deirdre Orceyre, a naturopathic physician at the Center for Integrative Medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center. It’s large concentration of Vitamin K can be a problem for people taking blood thinners and other medications because it promotes clotting; the green also contains oxalates, which in lab tests have been associated with kidney stones and some gallstones.

We often hear that adding fiber to your diet is good for your digestive system but watch out for kale as you might bite off more than you can chew. Raw kale in particular "can be hard on the digestive system" says Orceyre, — meaning it can cause bloating, gas and other abdominal issues — "and also contains a compound that can suppress thyroid function in certain people," she adds. That's why she doesn't recommend eating the vegetable uncooked or juicing it more than once or twice a week, though she says you can eat as much of the cooked veggie as you like. Finally, Orceyre cautions that kale crops are often sprayed with pesticides, so buy organic if you can manage it, and in all cases be sure to clean vegetables well to wash away any surface chemicals.

Tips to help with taste

Indeed, good overall preparation is essential if you want to enjoy that giant bag of kale, which has a well-deserved reputation for being tough and bitter. To avoid bitterness cut the center stem out. That's what makes it really tough. Cut out the larger stems and slice the leaves into strips, then wash them thoroughly and sprinkle them with baking soda or baking powder to tenderize. If you are new to kale, start out using baby kale, which is less bitter and more tender, and can be easier and quicker to work with.

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Rinse kale leaves under cold running water. Chop leaf portion into 1/2" slices and the stems into 1/4" lengths for quick and even cooking. To get the most health benefits from kale, let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes before cooking. Sprinkling with lemon juice before letting them sit can further enhance its beneficial phytonutrient concentration. There are differing schools of thought on this but most nutritionists agree that the healthiest way to prepare kale is steaming. Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2 inches of water. While waiting for the water to come to a rapid boil chop greens. Steam for 5 minutes and toss with your favorite vinaigrette.

Are you ready for what just may be your first adventure in kale? Well now is a good time try as it’s featured this week at Brookhaven Marketplace for just 69¢ a bunch. Here are a number of kale recipes to get you started.

Credits – much of the material in this blog came from an article published in the Washington Post 9/25/2012 written by Carolyn Butler

What makes Prisco’s Ground Beef so superior to other supermarket ground beef?- Friday, August 29, 2014

Hi – for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Margaret Prisco and I manage the store’s meat department. Being a woman in the meat industry is a bit like being a Jamaican bobsledder… it happens, but not very often. People who first meet me often struggle with the idea of a rather petite woman hauling around beef carcasses.

Actually, some things in the meat industry have changed a great deal since I started my career, while many others remain fairly consistent. With the advent of pre-cut boxed beef you will seldom find a half carcass of beef in any store, but beyond that, trimming, packaging and preparing the meat for display in our case is done the same way as it was forty years ago when I stood at my Dad’s side, watching and learning how to handle a butcher knife.

We are often asked, "What is it that you do with your ground meats that make them so delicious and keeps my family asking for more?" Whatever it is, they certainly don’t know how to do it at the big chains!

Well, I just love to tell customers the story. Over 50 years ago my father made a couple of decisions about how he would run his business that was handed down from his father, and it was those decisions that have been the key to our continued success as the leading meat store in Aurora.

  1. Sell only quality meats - He chose quality over offering the cheapest price using standard or utility grades of meat. To this day and for as long as the name on the door is Prisco’s, we will only sell USDA choice beef, all natural pork, and fresh grade “A” poultry.

  2. Grind the best – never meat past its prime. The other firm belief that Dad drilled into us is that your entire store is only as good as the ground meats that you sell. You see, most grocery stores today ignore this philosophy and offer nothing ground fresh, but sell only prepackaged tubes or tubs of ground meet processed in a factory hundreds of miles away. We won’t ever do that because we have no idea what the condition of that meat was when it was dumped into the grinder. Don’t get me wrong, a number of meat shops still do all their own grinding in-house, but not for the same reason we do. They use the grinder to get rid of all the cuts in the counter that haven’t sold and are beginning to show signs of deterioration. When we see meat not selling the way we’d like, we reduce the price for quick sale. What goes in our grinder is fresh meat- full of bloom and flavor.

Our ground meats truly are the backbone of the fresh meat department and our regular customers know that to be a fact because they continue to come back to us week in and week out. They know exactly what they will be getting when they purchase ground meats from Prisco’s Family Market -- The freshest, juiciest, most delicious ground meat in the Fox Valley region.