Kale: The King of Greens

BATD ON May 09, 2013 AT 4:10 pm

Kale is the latest buzz word when it comes to health.

From kale salad to kale smoothies, dehydrated or oven-baked kale chips to liquid kale juice. . .we have heard  (and tried) it all – but what exactly is kale?

Kale is a versatile, leafy green vegetable that is quickly rising in popularity amongst the health-lovers. Easy to grow and packed with Vitamin C, fiber, beta carotene, it is also low in fat and calories (just in case you’re counting) and over the past year, sales of the hotter-than-spinach green went up by a massive 40% with self-professed kale lovers Gwyneth Paltrow and chef Jaimie Oliver both publicly extolling its many virtues.

So, what’s so great about Kale? And why should you be adding it to your weekly shop?

Well . .  .

- Kale is low cal. One cup of kale contains only 36 calories. It also has zero fat and is extremely high in fiber.

- Kale is high in must-have nutrients and minerals iron, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.

- It is packed full of antioxidants which help to protect against cancers.

-  Calcium-rich, it helps to prevent against bone loss and osteoporosis. And per calorie, kale has a higher calcium content than milk.

- An anti-inflammatory, Kale works as the ultimate detox-food, helping to maintain balance and functionability in your liver and body.

Kale

So, how to eat this fibrous leafy green?

In its raw form, kale can be rough and tough to chew. However, due to its rich green taste, it’s surprisingly versatile and can be easily – and tastily – incorporated into many dishes.

The raw kale salad is popular in many restaurants. To transform kale from its raw and uncooked form into something a little more palatable, requires the lesser known ‘kale massage’. yes you read that right. By massaging the kale with your hands for approximately 5 minutes, the fibrous structures in the leaves break down to soften the texture, making it far easier to chew and swallow! We suggest rubbing a chia oil or extra virgin olive oil into the leaves and topping with a sprinkling of Himalayan sea salt for extra flavour.

Try a kale salad with raw massaged kale leaves, dressing and your favorite toppings!

It’s also perfect for snacking on. Health food stores are currently selling dehydrated kale leaves (like hot cakes) with seasoning and calling them kale chips. (Check out Camden-based brand InSpiral for some of the more delicious chips including Cacao and Cinnamon).

Raw Cacao & Cinnamon Kale Chips

The dehydration process gives the greens a crisp-like crunch making them the ultimate healthy alternative to regular crisps or snacks that may be high in fat, salt and calories.

Another easy way to incorporate kale into your diet is in a smoothie. You can try out our delicious green kale smoothie here, or simply add a small handful of kale into the blender along with your normal smoothie ingredients. It will thicken the texture somewhat, but that’s a small price to pay for all the added benefits in a drinkable form.

Kale can also be sauteed just like any other vegetable. Try it in a pasta sauce or with garlic and shallots.

The possibilities for kale are endless, and the benefits that this green leaf will bring to your life are innumerable. So what are you waiting for? Get your kale on!

 

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