What Can You Do with Boerenkool (Other Than the Traditional Way the Dutch Use Them)?
When I arrived in the Netherlands, I didn’t know what boerenkool was. The Netherlands is a country where everyone, including the Dutch, complains about a lack of variety in the cuisine. I don’t agree with that. I’ve used many local products to make a wide range of superbly-yummy dishes.
Three months after relocating to the Netherlands, I broke down. The stress of relocating and settling down and not having a balanced diet had got to me. On reaching the hospital, the doctors did some tests and realised my blood count was very low. They gave me some iron tablets and told me to return in two weeks.
I immediately knew I had to boost my blood count in a traditional way learned from my mother and older sisters. As a child, my mum insisted we ate ugu (pumpkin leaves) – a form of dark green leaves. She would normally steam the ugu with other vegetables and liver to build up the blood cells.
I realised I needed ugu to achieve the same purpose at this time. I went to the supermarket and bought some spinach, boerenkool, liver and other stew ingredients. I made a delicious meal which I ate every day to replace the iron tablets (which were causing constipation). Two weeks later I went to see my doctor, who confirmed after the blood work was done that my levels were normal.
Do try out this delicious stew by downloading the recipe here. In my next health edition, I will share a wonderful Irish potato recipe. This is also inspired by a traditional West African recipe.
Download recipes for boerenkool stew here.