Kale was a leafy green that I veered far away from as a kid. But now that I’ve matured and wised up to know that kale is one of the healthiest greens around, I’ve opted to include it in my diet a bit more often. For those only beginning to venture into the world of dark leafy greens, kale is a great place to start and often referred to as the “queen of greens” for its superior health benefits. There is a bounty of delicious recipes to pick from online (we share five below), most grocery stores and markets have it in stock, and it’s so diverse that chances are you’re bound to find at least one way to enjoy this nutritious green.
Health benefits: For starters, kale – also known as borecole – is an amazing source of iron. In fact, it contains more per serving than beef, which is extremely beneficial as iron promotes cell growth, proper liver function, the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, and also transports oxygen throughout the body, according to MindBodyGreen.
Kale is also high in vitamin K and C, fiber, and cancer-fighting antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids. In addition, one cup contains 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect against arthritis, depression and autoimmune disorders, as well as promote heart health.
Nutritional statistics: 1 cup chopped contains approximately 33 calories, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 0 grams sugar and 2 grams protein.
Cooking methods: Though it may be scary in appearance and somewhat intimidating, kale is actually very versatile in its uses. It can be added to smoothies for an extra boost of nutrition, or chopped and used as a salad base. It can also be steamed, creamed and just about everything in between. For a good place to start, check out these simple recipes to help make kale a staple in your kitchen today.
Kale and Black Bean Nachos from My Little Celebration
Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup from The Pioneer Woman
5 Vegetable Lentil Soup from Fit Bottomed Eats
Start with these simple recipes and then venture out! Try kale in your breakfast scrambles, smoothies, soups and more! It’s so nutritious there’s no excuse not to.
November 25th, 2012