Kale: The Green Popeye Just Didn’t Know About!

So, what green is more power packed than even spinach?

Kale! This leafy green is four times higher in vitamin C, one and a half times higher in vitamin A and K, and three times higher in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin than spinach!!!

For those who know me, you know that kale is one of my favorite vegetables! Not only is kale one of the most nutritious vegetables around but it is also incredibly delicious if prepared properly. When I prepare my kale chips, I literally have to fight my family off or the dish literally will be eaten before it gets to the table!

So, what is kale?

Kale is a hearty green that is actually a member of the cabbage family. Kale is high in iron, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, beta-carotene, phosphorus, vitamins A, E and K, folic acid, chlorophyll,  fiber, phytochemicals and live-enzymes.

Kale helps prevent anemia, strengthen the eyes, bones and teeth, purify the blood, strengthen the immune system, increase energy, improve skin quality, improve digestion and even replenishes lost electrolytes after a workout!

Where do I buy it, and what do I look for?

There are many different varieties but the ones you will come upon most in the grocery store are the green kale, the variegated kale and, my favorite, the Locinato kale, which is a heirloom kale from Tuscany.

Kale is readily available and can pretty much be found in any health food or gourmet store. The Locinato kale is a bit harder to find but it is well worth the search for its smooth taste. When you are shopping, look for kale with bright green leaves. A yellow color tells you that the kale might be a bit old and has lost some of its nutritional value.

Kale is a hearty green that can be found year-round and is one of the few vegetables that actually sweetens and gets better tasting after a frost!

How do I eat it?

Most people tend to think of kale as a vegetable you just cook. While kale is delicious grilled or sautéed, it can also be incredibly delicious in salads and smoothies if prepared properly! Below are some of my favorite recipes. The grilled kale, in particular, is a family favorite and we prepare green smoothies with kale every morning to send the kids off to school!

Crunchy Kale

1 head of kale (can be red or green)
Olive oil
Lemon
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut kale into small pieces and wash and let fully dry so it does not wilt. Coat a casserole dish with olive oil and place the kale in the dish. Slather with olive oil and place in oven for approximately 15-20 minutes until it looks a bit “crispy”. Slice a lemon and squeeze over and add a sprinkle of sea salt.

These literally taste like crispy, yummy salty chips and my family devour them often before they even make it to the table!

Kale Avocado Salad

4-6 leaves of Locinato kale (green is fine if you cannot find Locinato)
1 avocado
Olive oil
Lemon
Sea salt
Optional: handful of walnuts

Slice the Locinato kale and place into a bowl. Slice half of your avocado on top and liberally douse with olive oil and then lemon and then add a little sea salt. With your hands mix and knead the ingredients to break up the fibers of the kale. Slice remaining ½ of avocado and place the slices on top. This is one of my favorite salads and is beyond healthy and cleansing!

Kat’s “Power Me Up”  Kale Smoothie

4-6 stalks kale (again use Locinato if you can find it)
1 cup vanilla almond milk (or soy or rice milk)
Juice from a Thai coconut (you can cheat &use the small “One” containers)
1 sliced frozen banana
1tbsp Chia, flax or hemp seeds (Omega 3’s)
Maca (for energy, jet lag, high-intensity workouts)
Optional: handful of frozen berries (great if you are making it for kids who might be anti-green!)

Rip the greens into pieces and place into blender filling it up ¾ of the way. Add your vanilla almond milk, frozen fruit and other ingredients into a blender and blend! There is no exact science to this. Experiment and see which combinations you like!

This is my favorite, favorite, favorite morning smoothie and I usually make it the night before and then send it in a bottle for my hubby to take to work in the morning!

1 Comment

  • Jonathan
    July 27th, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    .

    good!!…



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