My family has always been good about eating vegetables at every meal but we never really tried anything that we considered unusual or different. We pretty well stuck to a few standard vegetables like green beans, corn, and broccoli (mostly frozen). We started branching out a little more and tried real zucchini and squash. Actual zucchini and squash that I had to cut myself and had no directions on the package – it didn’t even come in a package! That was big for us! But the exciting part was that we really liked it! And then we got brave and adventurous! Then we tried fresh spinach…loved it. Spaghetti squash…loved it (and thought it was super cool that it looks just like spaghetti). << Don’t laugh…you have to admit that it’s pretty cool that you can cook a vegetable and it ends up looking like pasta!
The next vegetable we were curious about was kale. I had heard a lot about it from healthy eating blogs and podcasts but was still a little unsure about trying it. But, in the spirit of trying new things, I bought some. My husband loved it even more than he loves spinach! I have to admit that I liked it too, especially scrambled in eggs with salsa.
What is Kale?
Kale is a dark, leafy green vegetable. It can be substituted for spinach or other leafy greens in recipes. It can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, or baked (if you’ve never had kale chips….YUM!).
So, besides it’s versatility, what makes kale so special? Well, it is high in beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to Vitamin A – ideal for the skin and eyes. Kale’s antioxidants help boost immunity and maintain overall health. It is full of iron, calcium and potassium. Kale also has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of several different types of cancer. Just look at this chart of the nutrients in kale!
Can you believe all the vitamins and nutrients this little vegetable contains? I count 20 different nutrients on this chart! And for so few calories? I think it’s pretty easy to see why kale is such an incredible superfood!
Do you eat kale regularly? How do you prepare it?