You may not get super excited over greens, but when you see all the health benefits Kale has that just might change. Kale is a versatile, fat blasting super food you can enjoy in a variety of recipes. It’s one of the most nutrient dense greens available and is incredibly diet friendly. One cooked cup (steamed) is a mere 33 calories – a lot of bang for your caloric buck.
Kale is a cruciferous, green leafy vegetable that belongs to the same family as cabbage and Brussels sprouts. One of the healthiest vegetables around, kale has been shown to lower cholesterol and prevent 5 types of cancer, including ovarian and breast cancer. Kale has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and is great for detoxing the body.
Kale is loaded with vitamins, providing more than the daily recommended value of Vitamins A, C and K. Vitamin A preserves good vision and boosts immunity along with vitamin C. Vitamin K is essential for strong bones and cell regeneration. Every 1 cup serving of kale provides 684% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin K, 206% Vitamin A and 134% Vitamin C.
Excited yet? You will be after you see all the fun ways Kale can be prepared and enjoyed. The following recipes provide a variety of flavorful ways to work Kale into your healthy diet.
Skinny Kale Burgers – Use this fantastic recipe for a flavorful burger or for meatless meatballs.
Southwestern Kale Chips – In the mood for a crispy, crunchy snack with a kick? Try these baked kale chips for a no-guilt snack.
Skinny Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Kale Soup – A hearty, satisfying soup on a cold winters day. Easy to prepare, good for you comfort food.
Cleanse & Detox Smoothie – Flush out toxins with this Cleanse and Detox Smoothie, made with Kale and maybe lose a pound or two along the way.
In addition to being a rich source of vitamins, Kale is loaded with minerals. One serving provides 9% of your daily value of calcium and potassium, 6% iron and magnesium, 10% copper and a whopping 26% manganese. It also contains phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. A good balance of calcium, potassium and magnesium supports a strong metabolism among other things.
With all of these health benefits packed in such a small serving, there’s no reason not to make Kale a regular part of your healthy diet.
Selection and Storage
Kale has the best flavor during peak season, mid-winter through the beginning of spring. Choose kale that is rich in color, with firm leaves and a moist, hardy stem. Keep it chilled, as warmth will reduce nutritional value and give it a bitter taste. Avoid plants that are yellowing or have holes in the leaves. Choose smaller leaves which are more tender and flavorful.
Kale can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container. It should be kept unwashed until ready for use. Moisture promotes spoilage and may cause bitterness.
From soup to sandwiches and even snacks, kale’s versatility is amazing. With so much good stuff packed into so few calories, you can enjoy it often and reap the amazing health benefits.