Benefits of KALE: Hmmmm…. Kale! You either love it or you hate it!
Me, I love it!
Ok, but that was not always the case!
It took me a while to appreciate the flavours of kale. I will say, even if you are a hater of kale, it is worth giving it another try (or two, or three) because the nutritional benefits of kale are HUGE!
Kale is often tagged as the “the new beef” the “king of greens”… but no matter what label you give kale, the benefits are unsurmountable.
Benefits of KALE include….
High in Fibre: Fibre is helpful for making you feel full, and can also help manage your blood sugar. 1 cup of kale has about 2.5 grams of fiber 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, proper liver function and more. High in Vitamin A, C & K: Amoungst other things, Vitamin A is great for your vision and your skin. Vitamin C is important for the immune syste, metabolium and hydration. They say Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary to support a variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. High in Calcium: Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk. 1 cup of kale has about 100 grams of calcium, about 1/10th your daily intake. Calicum aids in preventing bone loss, osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain joint flexibility High in Protein: Like all dark leafy greens, Kale is a great source of protein. 1 cup of kale has nearly 3 grams of protein. Contains Sulforaphane: Like broccoli and other brassicas (i.e. cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collard greens) kale contains sulforaphane, a chemical with potential anti-cancer properties.
Types of Kale
There are several different varieties of kale, most of which can be distinguied by the shape and texture of their leaves. There is curly, black, red, dinasaur and lacinato…. perhaps others, but those are the ones I am familiar with. The varieties we use most often are curly & black kale.
How to Prepare Kale
Although you can steam or cook kale, more often than not we enjoy in smoothies & salads. As with many vegetables you do get a lot more of the nutritional benefits when you eat it raw. Kale does tend to have more of a bitter flavour than some of the milder greens like spinach ~ so if you are new to greens you may want to add the juice of 1 or 2 lemons to whatver you are cooking or blending. The lemon is magical in how it “cuts” the bitter flavour! In addition to eating kale raw, I do occasionally add kale to my vegetable stir-fry, but I always add it at the very end of the recipe and cook for only a minute, if that.
My Favourite Kale Recipes
The one recipe that made me fall in love with kale is my Kale Avocado & Tomato Salad. Why? Because using avocado to “massage” the kale helps breakdown the “toughness” of the leaves and the lemon helps to “cut” the bitter taste. This avocado, lemon, kale combination is the perfect base for any salad. Here are a few more of my favourite kale recipes: