Ahhh, kale. The curly, dark leafy green that, somehow, finds it’s way onto the ice to decorate deli cases. Don’t these people know what a gold mine of nutrition they’re wasting?! Kale is a nutritional superstar. If it were a dragon, it would be a Hungarian Horntail.
Why is it soooo OUTSTANDING and SENSATIONAL?
- Bursting with antioxidants (beta carotene is NOT just for carrots!)
Among them are leutin and zeaxanthin (who comes up with these names?) which both protect your eyes from macular degeneration and harmful UV rays.
- An excellent plant source of absorbable calcium (more than milk!). Many other plants, like spinach, have calcium but it’s bound to compounds called oxalates which block it’s absorption.
-Bulky and fibrous= regularity. Need I elaborate?
-Provides exorbitant amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, B6, and potassium (move over bananas!). These all help lower inflammation in the body (which in turn helps protect your heart and brain).
-Your body’s defense system, superoxide dismutase, protects you from free radicals and other foreign invaders. Kale provides lots of manganese which essentially turns your immune system’s defense weapons into Hungarian Horntails.
Can you tell I like kale?
Personal experience: I rarely (read: never) get sick now. I eat kale for breakfast almost every morning and have it at dinner at least 2-3 times per week. I think I go through about 4 pounds a week… you don’t have to eat that much to get the benefits of it. I just really like eating it. Overall, my body feels much better than it did before I was eating kale. My joints are less creaky and I feel like my system just runs more smoothly. (I know I’m only 25 but I have the hips and spine of a 60-year old so, yes, I can be creaky.)
GO BUY KALE!
But first, how do you prepare it?
With peanut butter of course!! No, really. It’s delicious!
Couple ways I like it include:
Baked in the oven then topped with two poached eggs and ketchup. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! You can also make kale chips. There’s tons of recipes out there.
I also make “massaged” kale salads (the leaves were sore… so they needed a little TLC. Kidding.) I got the idea from my friend Gracie. Pick an oil, I use almond or olive, and an acid, I like balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and whisk a 2:1 ratio (oil to acid) with some salt/pepper. Tear up the kale in small pieces in a big bowl (don’t eat the think stem. It’s icky.) and pour the vinaigrette and massage it through with your hands. I toss chopped fresh fruit in such as, mango, plums, kiwi… anything really.
I’ve also made quiches using kale instead of spinach and kale pancakes… though I think I’m the only one who really likes those. You can throw it into stir-fries and soups, as well as smoothies (if you don’t want to taste it.)
EAT MORE KALE! Your body will thank you profusely.