What's Up With Kale?

This earthy green can be a tremendous addition to your diet

CamiIt’s that dark leafy green that’s taking over produce aisles, giving the potato a run for its money (as far as chips go) and is turning fruit smoothies green with the promise of a disguised dose of nutrients. Fort Worth keyleader, Cami Hamann, tells us what’s up with kale.

Reap the Benefits of Kale

Momma’s right (but isn’t she always?). Vegetables are jam packed with various vitamins and nutrients and kale is no exception. The dark green has an abundance of antioxidants that help fight off cancer-causing free radicals and can also aid in lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation.

Nutritional Value

One cup (130g) of kale contains:

  • More than 1,000 percent of your daily-recommended value of Vitamin K (supporting bone growth and regulating blood clotting)
  • More than 350 percent of your daily value of Vitamin A (helps vision, growth, bone formation, tissue repair and red blood cell production)
  • 5g of fiber (like yoga, fibre helps the digestive system function and detoxifies the body)
  • 35 calories

How and Why to Massage Kale

Give it a good rub
Ever wondered why your kale never tastes quite the same as the one from the Whole Foods salad bar? It’s probably because you weren’t making it with love. Kale is a tough green and requires a little extra TLC. Massaging it softens the leaves making them tastier, and easier to eat and digest. To give them a proper rub down:

  • Remove the leaves from the thick middle stem
  • Wash and dry the leaves
  • Tear leaves into bite size pieces
  • Toss the leaves in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and salt
  • Get your hands in there and go for it. You’ll notice the kale turn from a muted colour to a lively green and that’s your indication that it’s ready (and relaxed). This should take roughly five minutes.

Kale recipes

Kale chips

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Remove kale leaves from the middle stem and tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves. In a mixing bowl toss the leaves with the olive oil and salt. Lay the kale out on baking sheets and bake until the chips get crispy, careful not to let them burn (about 10-15 minutes.)

*Ed. Note: I learned the hard way that although kale chips are very delicious (and nutritious), they don’t make for a great road trip snack as they can become quite stinky in confined spaces.

Mediterranean Kale Salad

  • 1 cup dry quinoa (quinoa is the only whole grain that is a complete protein)
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1.5 – 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 1.5 – 2 cups chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (about 20)
  • fresh mint, parsley and chopped garlic (to taste)
  • lemon juice (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Directions: Prepare 1 cup of quinoa as directed and toss with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Add chopped mint, parsley and garlic to taste creating a tabouli flavor. Chop and massage the kale and add to your quinoa mixture with additional lemon juice and 3tbsp of olive oil. Toss the salad until the leaves are coated. Add the chopped tomato, cucumber and Kalamata olives. Enjoy! Serves 4.

Green kale smoothie

  • 2-3 leaves of kale
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk
  • ice (optional)
  • stevia or 1tsp maple syrup (optional)

Directions: Combine ingredients in a blender and blend well.
*Get creative by sneaking kale into your favourite smoothie recipes. Kale has a strong earthy flavor so just be sure to use a banana to disguise its presence.

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