It’s time to promote glorious kale again because it is so plentiful this time of year. It makes me very sad to think how many people give kale a bad rap because they may have eaten kale that was not properly prepared. I still have memories of the smell coming from the school cafeteria when they fixed broccoli. I mean, it was putrid. But I love broccoli. That horrible memory did not keep me from loving this vegetable. That’s because I know how to fix it properly. It’s all in the preparation.
Let me tell you about all the virtues of kale and how incorporating it regularly into your diet can lead to improved health.
First, kale is full of nutrition. In fact, it’s a powerhouse and it is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. One cup of kale contains over 100% of the RDA of the following vitamins: A, K, and C. Vitamin K is not as common as some other vitamins. Eating Vitamin K can help you reduce the chances of getting cancer later in life. It also helps with blood clotting issues. In addition to these vitamins, kale also contains B6, manganese, copper, potassium, and magnesium.
Second, eating kale regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease and it lowers your cholesterol. It is a powerful antioxidant which fights oxidative damage done by free radicals. If this is a health goal, you might consider eating raw kale rather than cooked because antioxidants in kale are sensitive to heat.
Third, there is a lot of fiber in kale which keeps the digestive system moving properly. I hate to say this, but in my opinion, people are probably not pooping enough. Many people lack fiber in their diet because fruits and veggies take a back seat to meat (which contains no fiber). CLICK HERE to read my blog about this topic. I understand that kale stems are high in probiotics which your digestive system will love. Eating kale stems might not sound appetizing, but finely chopped in a salad would most likely go unnoticed.
Fourth, kale is iron rich. This is especially important for young menstruating women. When I was that age, I tried to take iron pills, but they caused constipation, so I stopped taking them. If I had only known then that eating kale would have given me fiber and iron I would have been a much healthier young woman.
Fifth, it reduces inflammation. It seems that many people have chronic inflammation in their bodies these days. As a result, prescriptions for NSAIDS and other anti-inflammatory drugs are at an all time high. These drugs come with many negative side effects. Why not reach for some kale when you have pain instead? It has all the benefits with no side effects. Again, it is best to eat raw kale for this nutritional benefit.
Finally, kale contains quercetin which has anti-viral properties. If you feel a cold coming on, eat some kale. It may just help you knock that cold out of your system. Basically, kale helps your body fight off disease which is super important for the world we currently live in. In these strange times, I think everyone should be incorporating kale into their diet just for preventative efforts to keep from getting sick.
For all these nutritional benefits kale provides, you get a mere 30 calories per cup. I don’t think anyone can argue that kale is a superfood and how beneficial it is to our health.
I have posted a few other kale recipes in the past — both raw and cooked kale. I have linked them below.
Here is another way to fix kale. This time as a snack. I’m sure you’ve heard of kale chips. I have never been happy with the kale chips I purchase in the store. They taste so much better when they are made at home, ideally with kale from your garden. I encourage you to try these with an open mind. You might also try different types of kale to see which you like best. I used curly kale for this recipe. CLICK HERE for the original recipe. I changed just a few things.
About 10 oz. of kale (washed and dried with stems removed)
About 1 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp. raw sunflower seeds
5-6 tbsp. Nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. Onion powder
¼ tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. Celery salt
- Heat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit
- In a small blender, mix cashews, sunflower seeds, yeast, and spices. Pulse to combine. Make sure all pieces of cashews are ground up.
- Put kale in a large mixing bowl. Using as little oil as possible, pour over the kale and massage with your hands until all leaves are coated.
- Add spicy mixture to the kale and massage it into the leaves. Reserve some of the spice mixture.
- Lay on a cookie sheet in a single layer
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Stir and put back in the oven for about 5 minutes.
- Remove and let cool.
- Store in a sealed container.
These chips are very tasty and so much healthier for you than potato chips. I hope you decide to give these a try. Let me know if you like them!