My new favorite snack aids in proper diet and digestion, is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, helps the body detox naturally and supports the cardiovascular system. Kale is a super food!
Nourishing my family’s health and growing appetite are my highest priorities. I can satisfy both priorities with kale, the leafy green that I recommend for everyone’s grocery list. Kale is called a “super food” because it packs more nutrition per calorie than almost any other food. Unfortunately many people haven’t a clue how to prepare the stuff usually seen only as garnish beside the onion rings. My first taste of Kale was in the neighborhood clubhouse Tuscany Soup which I loved enough to embark on a grocery store trip to secure a Kale stockpile. Kale is available at its best during winter months from September until March and is chock full of the nutrition I need:
With over 192% of the RDA of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.
Vitamin C, which one cup of kale heartily provides (over 88% of our RDA), is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also lowers blood pressure, ensures a healthy immune system, and fights against age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Kale provides a whopping dose of vitamin K (providing 1327% of the RDA in one cup), which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Finally, vitamin K is essential for synthesizing sphingolipid, the fat needed to maintain the myelin sheath around our nerves, and therefore our nervous system as a whole.
Follow these simple instructions for delicious, tender, steamed kale:
1. Select dark green crisp leaves.
2. Wash kale in cold water to remove sand or dirt.
3. Fold the kale in half, lengthwise, hold the base of the stem and rip the leaves from the stem.
4. Chop leaves and add to a steamer basket and place in a pan of boiling water, filled just to the base of the basket, and cover.
5. Steam for about 4-5 minutes, then check for tenderness.
6. Kale cools rapidly, so enjoy immediately.
When in a hurry, I prepare kale in the microwave:
- Place kale or spinach in microwave-safe dish.
- Cover and cook on high for about 2 minutes per 2 cups, or until cooked.
I also recommend eating kale plain — spritz it with soy sauce, sauté it with garlic and olive oil – even toss it into soups. Use it in addition to cooked spinach in your favorite recipes. Now I’m thinking of ways to incorporate Kale into Thanksgiving dinner…Enjoy!