Health food fads frequently come and go, but some health promoting foods will be around forever. Kale is one of those amazing so called “superfoods.” You may be familiar with the great benefits kale has to offer, but many of us don’t have any idea how to make it taste good. I’m going to share a recipe with you that will have your family (yes, even the kids) begging you to buy more kale. First, we’ll start with a little history!
Although talk of kale seems to be becoming more popular in the US, it is anything but a new vegetable. Kale is a cole crop, which means it grows best in the cool weather of the spring and fall. The Greeks and Romans in the 1st century were the first to speak of the “coles” they grew which had curled leaves (aka, curly kale!). Kale then became a staple in the European diet during the Middle Ages because it could survive through the harsh climate. So needless to say, kale’s recent popularity in theUnited States is old news to much of the rest of the world!
Found in the same family as broccoli, collard greens, and cauliflower, kale demonstrates many similar health properties. It contains powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene and flavonoids and it’s an excellent source of calcium. In fact, 1 cup of kale contains 10% more absorbable calcium than 1 cup of milk! Kale contains many other great vitamins and minerals too. According the USDAs Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, 1 cup of kale contains:
- 90 mg of Calcium
- ~ 80 mg of Vitamin C
- 299 mg of Potassium (WOW!)
- 10302 IU Vitamin A
- 547.4 µg of Vitamin K
- Is a valuable source of B-Vitamins, fiber, and folate
As with all fruits and vegetables, kale is very beneficial nutritionally in all of our diets. However, unlike most vegetables it is a source of omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. The Vitamin K content of kale should not be overlooked; according to a 2012 study, vitamin k is an important factor in stroke prevention and atrial calcification. Also, a decade long study in 2009 demonstrated that Vitamin K consumption significantly reduced the risk of coronary heart disease. Now that you know kale is amazing for your body, you should also know that it tastes great! From steaming it to making kale chips, the possibilities are endless for recipes to eat this amazing vegetable.
Kale chips are so easy to make and they are a delicious snack for those of us who have a love for crunchy chips, so you have to give these a try!
Kale chips recipe:
- 6-7 stalks of kale
- olive oil
- pepper and/or garlic powder (or any seasoning you like) for taste
- Wash kale and cut the hard “rib” away from the leaves
- Place on baking sheet
- Coat evenly with 1 Tbsp of oil
- Season evenly with pepper and garlic salt
- Bake in over at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until the kale has brown edges.
Click here to watch how easy it is to make kale chips!