Kale seems to be the food of good intentions. I intend to make kale chips. I intend to toss a few leaves into the salad bowl. I intend to buy kale. But do we?
Let’s face it, kale is a tad ungainly…
But we at Boston Baby Nurse were so impressed at kale’s nutritional stats that we were up for the challenge of finding recipes that were easy to make, needed only a few ingredients, and offered an uber-vegetable that families could rely upon, week after week.
Here’s what we found: Kale is just too good to pass up. It’s available organic, year round. For further information, Whole Foods offers an impressive, nine-page, printer-friendly report on kale and what this cruciferous veggie offers.
The Stats on Kale
Researchers can now identify 45 different flavonoids in kale. Why do we want this? Kale’s flavonoids offer both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that all bodies need to reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. In order to receive these amazing benefits, Whole Foods recommends cooking kale with a healthy steaming method for five minutes. To ensure quick and even cooking, cut leaves into 1/2 inch slices. You can eat the stems, but if your family is not used to eating them, maybe omit for now and serve the leaves.
It’s interesting to note that, per calorie, kale has more iron that beef, per MindBodyGreen.com. Kale is also high in vitamins K, C and A, and calcium, and offers fiber and sulfur, both wonderful in detoxifying your body and keeping liver healthy. Its anti-inflammatory properties are impressive, too; one cup of kale offers 10% of the RDA for omega-3 fatty acids.
Beyond Kale Chips
By now, everybody has seen the kale chips recipe. I did try them and found that I had to watch them in the oven because if they got too cooked on the edges, they turned bitter. I had more luck with juicing.
I had a juicer at one point, until I discovered powerful blenders. Have a Vitamix or Blendec? They’re super for juicing, and that way, you retain all of the good fiber. Just toss in and blend. Here’s a great green smoothie recipe for parents and kids:
1 big handful of kale leaves, stems removed
4 pitted Medjool dates, or, 1/4 cup of maple syrup
2 apples, cored (make into chunky slices and keep the peels on)
About a cup of ice
Water (about a cup or a little more will do)
Nutrition Boost: Add 2 T Chia Seeds
Toss everything in to blender, with the ice going in last and resting on your veggie mixture, and blend till smooth and creamy!
Need some really easy recipe ideas?
1. Very quick to make! Served raw. http://www.goop.com/recipes/salads/pineapple-avocado-kale
2. You can freeze this healthy kale pesto!http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/easy-healthy-kale-walnut-pesto/
3. A simple sautéd side dish with a secret ingredient: mirin.