Step aside spinach there is a new green in town! I am speaking about my favorite all time green, my garden growing friend and super healthy crunchy leafy green – the incredible fabulous amazing kale! Kale and its incredible health benefits have actually been around for a long time. Quietly, yes, but believe it or not there was kale before there was kale chips! I have been eating this funky looking vegetable for years and as with many good things, it is hard to keep them under the radar for too long. Eventually their amazing qualities shine bright and this year, it’s kale’s turn to be in the spotlight.
I just had my favorite kale salad, freshly picked from the garden, and I feel super energized with fabulous green power!
So here are the many reasons I love Kale and you should too!
1. kale is a member of the Brassica family of vegetables, (also include are broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts) that have gained quite the reputation as potential cancer-fighting foods. Kale is packed with the organosulfur compounds that may actually help the liver neutralize potentially cancerous substances.
2. Kale is full of beta-carotene, an important nutrient for good vision also the prevention of cataracts.
3. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C, just one cup will give you 88% of your RDA of vitamin C which is great for your immune system and helpful for protection against viruses like the common cold as well as the flu.
4. Kale is rich in minerals, such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium. Potassium is excellent to help reduce blood pressure. Calcium is needed for optimal bone integrity.
5. A cup of kale provides 10.4% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels. Fiber can also help out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, so kale is an excellent vegetable for people with diabetes.
Need I say more?
Really easy- if you are super busy, just buy your favorite pesto (made with olive oil of course) or make your own and take the leaves off of the kale stem, compost the stem and puree the leaves with the pesto. Now you have this enriched delicious guilt free pesto..yum. Try it on your favorite cracker or a flacker, it is really divine….
Easy and cooked- sauté kale 1-2 cups (take the leafy part of the stem and toss the stem. The leafy part is the sweetest and most tender) with fresh garlic (1-2 cloves) and a little water (or extra virgin olive oil) then sprinkle with lemon juice, sea salt and/or olive oil before serving.
Easy and raw- Again take the leaves of the kale (2 cups is perfect) and place in a bowl. Add a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, a tsp of sea salt and 2 tbsp of lemon juice then using your hands crunch up the leaves so they get soft (the salt helps to breakdown the cell walls of the kale which makes it softer and sweeter and more delicious). May add 1 cup of mushrooms and/or red onions, walnuts to get some omega-3 fatty acids and then let it marinate a little, maybe an hour then enjoy.