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Superfood: Kale

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!

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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!

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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?

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7 comments on “Superfood: Kale

  1. We love kale more than spinach too! I toss it into my soups, salads, and smoothies. My kids would probably tell you that their favourite is sour kream n’onion (no dairy) kale chips!

  2. I really, really want to love kale. We got mountains of it through last year’s CSA share and so much of it went to waste ::hangs head in shame::. I need to find better ways to prepare it that take away some of the rough texture of certain varieties.

  3. I use it in my morning green smoothie, I do remove the thick spine though, I think that’s where the bitter may come from. I also use it in place of salad greens most of the time. I think that this is one of the veggies where it is important to buy organic..

  4. Kale chips, most definitely! I love how I can bake an entire bunch of it (you do strip out the thick spine) and it comes out in crispy little chips. We keep ours super simple and bake with a bit of olive oil and a little sea salt. I adore these and can easily eat an entire bunch of kale simply by making it into chips. My oldest son loves the chips as well. My youngest, well, we’re working on him 😉 I am looking for new ways to add it into our diet as well because it is such a superfood. Loving your site and ideas!

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