What The Kale?
What is this dark leafy green and why should we be eating it? We dove in a little deeper to give you the run-down on why this plant is being praised in the health industry for its nutritional content and how it can benefit you and your family!
First, kale is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. Its relatives include: broccoli, cabbage, collard greens and many other healthy green leaf vegetables.
Fun fact: Did you know Kale has been served since the Roman times? It is said Kale has been cultivated for over 6,000 years, and for good reasons!
This jam packed nutritional powerhouse plant takes the spotlight as being arguably one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Kale is awesome and here is why; it is a low calorie food that is high in fiber, has zero fat and packed with nutrients.
One cup of Kale leaves has only 36 calories, offers 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat.
Kale has a remarkable nutrient profile which include
High levels of antioxidants
Manganese and other essential minerals including: calcium, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
Vitamins: K, A, C, B
Heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
Benefits of consuming Kale
Promotes eye, skin and heart health
Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants to help protect against various cancers.
Helps to lowers cholesterol
High fiber content aids in digestion and intestinal cleansing.
Helps reduce inflammation
High in iron, kale is great for proper liver function.
Different Types and how to use
Baby Kale – perfect for salads
Curly – Saute or quickly boil
Red – Steam, Saute or make kale chips
Lacinato (Dino) – cut into ribbons and eat in salads
How to Buy Kale
Kale has become a member of the “ Dirty Dozen”, therefore It is recommended that you buy kale that is organically grown. Or even better, grow your own! It is heart and typically will survive in the winter months!
The leaves should be firm and deeply colored with stems that are moist and strong. Avoid leaves that are browning or yellowing, and free from small holes. If the raw leaves show signs of wilting, it is an indication that the greens have been sitting on the shelf for too long, or they were not properly stored…avoid these wilting leaves.
How to Store Kale
To store, keep kale refrigerated in an airtight bag. It can typically be stored for up to 5 days, but you may notice the flavor increase in bitterness with longer storage. Only wash the kale when you are ready to use it as washing before storage will promote spoilage.
How to Fit Kale Into Your Life
Steam kale with your favorite vegetables
Prepare a raw kale salad
Add kale to your favorite green smoothies
Bake kale for a healthy snack
Simple Staple Kale Salad
½ c extra-virgin olive oil
¼ c lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic mashed
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon Thyme
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 bunches Dino (Tuscan, Lacinato) Kale, ribs removed and leaves sliced into ¼ ribbons
*½ c finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shavings for garnish.
*2 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs
*Omit cheese if, vegan or dairy-free.
*Omit, bread crumbs if gluten-free
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, thyme and pepper flakes. Add kale and toss to coat (preferably 2 minutes). Let sit at room temperature for 10-30 minutes.
- Add grated cheese and breadcrumbs and toss (Omit if dairy-free or gluten-free)
- Garnish with shaved cheese before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers up to two days. Enjoy!