Postpartum Meals – Sausage and Kale Soup
Prepping for baby with postpartum meals is a great activity to get started around 35 weeks gestation. A baby shower or blessingway is a great opportunity to start asking for [healthy] meals to stick in the freezer. There are also many meal train websites for coordinating dates when the actual time arrives.
If you've ever received doula care from me, you probably know just how much I love Sausage and Kale soup. To be honest, it obviously isn't the healthiest option - but it does pack a nutrient punch and is a sure way of getting kale, veggies, and bone stock into the whole family - even those most skeptical of changing their eating habits.
Sausage and kale soup tastes like autumn, but is soothing anytime and super quick to prepare. I have introduced SO MANY men to kale, that are strictly meat and potatoes kind of people. It often becomes one of their favorite meals, my husband's included. You get a taste of that old traditional home cooked goodness with simple vegetables from almost any garden or farmer's market.
Bone stock is incredibly nourishing to the digestive system as well as supports tissue regrowth from skin, to ligaments and muscles, right down to the bone. Not only for those with leaky gut syndrome, but for all to prevent inflammation from allergens and mono-diets. The collagen and nutrients from bone stock help to build cells throughout the intestines and close gaps that enable allergens and toxins to move through the gut lining and tax the system. Eating a bone stock based meal three times a week is a great goal for which to strive. The key, however, is to use a bone stock that gels when it cools. If it doesn't gel, then it doesn't have all the nutrients that provide the nourishing healing benefits to the whole body. Bone broth (which is basically anything that doesn't gel, and certainly a broth that isn't made with the bones) can be used in a pinch, but you really want to get into a habit of cooking whole meats, saving the bones, and making your own stock (a post for another time).
Kale is a powerhouse. Don't get me wrong, many foods are - so don't get into a mono-diet habit of finding one nourishing food and not balancing your meal choices with all the other colors, textures, and flavors. Kale is easy, it can be grown in many mild climates throughout the winter, and it has a lot of uses (including tasty chip snacks). So add it in with all your other seasonal selections in steamed or lightly cooked form. As with all dark leafy greens (and many root vegetables), they are more nutritious when cooked until their color becomes vibrant.