Before it was widely recognized to be a wonderfood, many people only saw kale as a simple garnish on dishes or even the lining of a salad bar. Luckily, it is now being recognized and loved for its incredible nutritional benefits. Kale is as flexible as it gets when it comes to greens; you can eat it in practically any way you can imagine! From nutritionists to superfoodies to moms and everywhere in between, people are happily adding great nutritional value in their life by consuming kale. Kale is a wonderfully accessible and affordable green, even in its organic variety, so if you haven’t jumped on the kale train, here are many reasons why it’s time.
Kale is a Nutrient Powerhouse
Many people from all walks of life have been singing the praises of kale for good reason. Nutritionally, it is an incredibly sound food. In fact, it is so beneficial and nutritionally dense that many consider it to be a superfood.
A single cup of kale has more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than a cup of milk! Vitamin C has long been linked to a healthy immune system and calcium is an important mineral that is linked to building strong bones and teeth, helping with blood-clotting and other functions of the body like healthy muscles contraction. Kale also is high in free-radical fighting antioxidants and is a remarkable source of vitamin A, which is essential for pregnant mothers and is linked to healthy eyesight. Kale also provides a huge amount of vitamin K, which has been linked to healthy blood circulation. On top of it all, kale is a good source of iron and protein. Who knew that garnish on the side of your plate was so valuable?
How to Use Kale
We stated earlier that kale is remarkably versatile, and we weren’t kidding. Kale can be eaten raw, put into a smoothie, baked to make kale chips, sautéed or even boiled. You can even include all of these nutrients in your kid’s diet by making blueberry kale pops that are perfect for summer. Talk about options!
If you are interested in eating kale raw, consider slicing it into strips and macerating it with just a pinch of sea salt and the juice from ½ to 1 lime or lemon. “Macerating” is basically softening the raw kale to make the texture more palatable. It also brings out a smoother flavor. You’ll macerate the kale by roughly chopping it then adding the salt and lemon. Wash your hands and give it a good massage! Make sure you use good pressure, think about massaging the lemon and salt into the kale. You’ll know it ready when the kale looks slightly wilted. Throw in some avocado, tomatoes, onions and hemp seeds and you’ve got yourself a nutrient dense meal!
Looking for more kale recipes? Check out tons of recipes with kale at the Nutiva Kitchen.
Growing your own food is a wonderful way to ensure that no pesticides or other chemical sprays were used. Most all varieties of kale are hardy plants that are easy to grow. Kale loves a cooler climate, though some people actually grow kale throughout the year with some shade. Kale is also easy to grow in a container, so you can grow it even if you don’t have land. This leafy green grows in most climates, is easy to grow organic and the kids can help grow it as well!
What are some of your favorite ways to use kale? Share your recipe ideas in the comments below so we can all learn them!