Kale. Where do I begin? With how amazing of a food it is? Or how I love it to bits? Or how it’s SO easy to use, yet so misunderstood. Ok well I will start by saying how I came to the idea of this blog post. I was grocery shopping, and ran into two co-workers. Both of them looked into my basket and said “is that kale?” with the most confused voice. I could tell neither of them knew how to use it, what the heck it was, and why I would buy it. Kale is such a misunderstood vegetable. It is SO easy to use, yet people who have never used it before won’t go near it. The simplest, most easy way to use kale, is as the lettuce in a salad. How simple is that? Instead of using boring iceberg lettuce, which by the way has no benefits, use kale for your salad instead. I also hear “oh kale, I hear it has a really, really strong taste”. Myth. It doesn’t. It actually does not have a strong or bitter taste at all. Ok so it tastes good, but what else? Ohhhh what else. Let me just tell you what else. The health benefits are out of this world!!! Yes. You read right. Kale is the new beef. It has more iron than beef!!!
1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.
2. Kale is high in iron. Like I already mentioned, 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, proper liver function and more.
3. 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.
4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
7. 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.
8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
9. 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. (I know there are a ton of you out there who are dairy free, and sometimes question whether or not you are getting enough calcium, well eat Kale, problem solved!!) Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility
10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
Well. Are you as amazed as I was when I first found out about how amazing Kale is!? Don’t you want to run to the grocery store right this second and buy kale because of all the health benefits!? I actually am totally amazed, and almost can’t believe that one vegetable can have THAT many benefits. One of my absolute favourite benefits, is the high level of calcium. I am not dairy free, but do not drink any cows milk and have a very low amount of dairy in my diet, so I absolutely love that I can eat kale instead of a calcium pill.
Ok so what do we do with Kale? Well like I said, make a salad. Simple as that.
Sautéed Apple and Kale Salad
1 apple (cored, sliced very thinly)
1 hard boiled egg (sliced)
Apple cider vinegar
Directions: Sauté the slices of apple at low heat in either apple cider vinegar or coconut oil. (Put the apples on first, it will take about 20 minutes to fully sauté.) Rinse the Kale, and rip the leaves off the stems. (Do not eat the stems, they are very hard and hard to eat.) Once they’re ripped up into small, bite size pieces put them into the bowl. Slice peppers, cucumbers, and celery and add to the kale. Add sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. Mix the dressing together and add it to the salad. (I do find that kale can be somewhat dry and sucks up dressing, add a lot of dressing, more than you would to a normal lettuce or spinach.) Slice the hard boiled egg and add it to the top.
There you have it your kale salad. It is so yummy you are going to want to bring it to work for lunch every single day. Seriously. And as you’re sitting there in your lunch room eating this salad, and the person beside you is eating pizza, and the person sitting across from you is eating a sandwich on white bread, you’re going to think to yourself uh well they aren’t getting 10 amazing, incredible healthy benefits from eating those foods. And then you’ll say, Thank you Kale, you rock. (Maybe keep the talking to your salad part in your head, we don’t want all your co-workers to think you’re totally crazy, right?)
Instead of posting my usual fashion outfit next, I am going to post ANOTHER recipe for Kale. Crazy I know. This is so unlike me, and not what I usually do, but I am going to do it because I love Kale SO much. Kale chips, who has heard of kale chips? I know a lot of you have heard of them, the question is who has tried or made them? They are tasty, so healthy and soooo easy to make.
Directions: Wash the kale, and rip up the leaves to small bite size pieces. Spread them out over wax paper on a cooking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil, sea salt and nutritional yeast (if you do not have nutritional yeast, you can leave this ingredient out). Bake at the lowest your oven goes, for about 2 hours. (Why bake at such a low heat? Because you want the kale to keep all the nutrients and don’t want the heat to suck them all out.)
There you have it. Homemade kale chips. The absolute perfect snack to sit down and eat while watching your favourite movie.
We may as well all become vegetarians now that we have Kale in our lives! Alright, maybe not. I know how much everyone loves their meat. (Heads out of the gutter please, I mean real edible meat.)