Many consider kale to be the most nutritious vegetable, with powerful antioxidant properties.
Crazy about Kale?
Kale is now becoming one of the trendiest new must-have ‘superfoods.’ Not only is it versatile, but it’s jam-packed with essential nutrients. Kale is a member of cabbage family. Although it’s known as the perfect garnish to dress up your dinner plate, it’s now one of the healthiest foods to incorporate in your daily diet.
This “magical” Kale is packed with antioxidants that contain carotenoids and flavonoids. These antioxidants protect our cells and prevent stress. They’re also known to prevent the formation of cancerous cells. Kale contains omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for fighting against inflammatory-related problems, such as: arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and asthma. It’s also great for lowering cholesterol due to its high fiber content. It’s a great natural detox ingredient because of its high sulfur content. Packed with vitamin K, kale also helps strengthen the composition of bones. Along with that, it prevents calcium build-up that could lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Not only does it contain vitamin K, but it has lots of vitamin A and C as well.
Some people love the taste, but others can do with more options. You can eat kale raw, cooked, or even baked so here are some simple ways to incorporate kale in your diet:
In a hurry? No problem. There are many ways to eat kale raw, whether you blend it in your breakfast smoothie, juice it, or just toss it in a salad. Here’s an easy kale salad recipe you can make at home.
Kale Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Dried Cranberries
- 1 bunch young kale
- zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- good size pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (add more or less according to your preference)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
- 1 clove garlic, smashed and finely diced
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
1. Wash kale carefully and thoroughly; immerse in water, shake, and give the sand time to settle. Soak cranberries in lime juice (I find this cuts the sweetness and plumps the cranberries).
2. Then spin and dry the kale, and cut into thin 1/4” ribbons. Remove the cranberries from the lime juice, and whisk the juice into the olive oil until it emulsifies. Add the zest, salt, spice, pepper and garlic. Toss everything together, macerate the kale a bit, and set aside until you’re ready to serve.
3. Before serving, toss with Parmesan and cranberries, check salt levels, and serve.
Wanting more kale? Cook it to intake even more. You can add it on top of pizza, throw it in a quiche, toss it in your soup, or even sauté it for a full entrée. Here’s a delicious sautéed kale recipe.
Sautéed Kale with Chorizo and Crispy Garlic
- 2 pounds kale (about 4 bunches), stems and center ribs discarded
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 ounces Spanish chorizo, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- ¾ cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Working in batches, stack kale and cut crosswise into thin (about 1/4-inch-wide) shreds.
2. Line a plate with a paper towel; set aside. Heat oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add garlic and toast, stirring frequently until golden (about 2 minutes). Transfer with a slotted spoon to plate. Discard oil.
3. In the same skillet, cook chorizo over medium-high heat until browned (2 minutes). Drain off all but 1/2 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add kale (in handfuls) and toss until just wilted and bright green (about 3-4 minutes). Add water and salt, and simmer, partially covered, until kale is just tender (6-10 minutes). Sprinkle with crisped garlic; serve.
It gets even better, you can even eat kale as a snack on the go! Kale chips are becoming one of the best go-to healthy snacks so make sure you make these for those long hours at the desk. Here’s a zesty kale chip recipe.
Zesty Kale Chips
What you’ll need:
- a heaping pile of kale (I had half a pound and used a quarter of it)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Seasoning of your choice. (We were recommended to use Trader Joe’s “Everyday Seasoning and ground cayenne pepper ie: zesty)
Step 1: Gather your ingredients. The kale should be washed and fully dried. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2: Remove kale leaves from the central vein (you’ll know which one) Tear the leaves into bite size pieces.
Step 3: Drizzle kale with olive oil and seasonings. Toss it all around to ensure an even coat.
Step 4: Arrange kale leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet. (I found that the cookie sheets that have slits in them work best) Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes or so.
Hopefully these have inspired you to stock up on the most fashionable green to hit your plate this year!
And, if you just can’t get enough of these leafy greens, check out this video from Carson Tahoe Health’s registered dietician, Kim Mason here!