Kale is being called ‘the new beef’, ‘the queen of greens’ and really is a nutritional powerhouse. So good in fact, even Popeye would have converted to it.
Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.
While it’s available most of the year, it is at its peak from the middle of winter through to the beginning of spring.
To find the freshest kale, look for firm, deeply coloured leaves with hardy stems. Smaller leaves will be more tender and milder in flavour. Leaves range from dark green to purple to deep red in colour.
Store kale, unwashed, in an air-tight zipped plastic bag for up to five days in the refrigerator.
- Kale is low in calories, high in fibre and has no fat – It is great for aiding in digestion and filled with many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium.
- Kale is high in iron – Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth and proper liver function.
- Kale is high in Vitamin K – Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants – Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
- Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food – One cup of kale is filled with around 10% of the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
- Kale is great for cardiovascular support – Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Kale is high in Vitamin A – Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Kale is high in Vitamin C – Great for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
- Kale is high in calcium – Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility.
- Kale is a great detox food – Kale is filled with fibre and sulfur, both great for detoxing your body and keeping your liver healthy.
How to Eat Kale
Prepare kale by rinsing leaves under cold running water. Remove the stem from the leaves and chop soft leaves into 1cm ribbons and sturdier stems into shorter lengths.
Use in soups and pilafs, serve wilted with fish or chicken, add to spinach and feta based pastries or recipes or just replace the spinach altogether with kale. Add it to a pesto pasta dish or flash fry leaf strips to make kale chips.
Krissy Hacker is a wife and SAHM of 2, expecting a 3rd whose arrival is eagerly awaited so she can return to drinking wine. She loves reviving old school ways of doing things and would do anything to get out of housework!