Archive | September, 2012

Super veggie: Kale

19 Sep

Why is everyone raving about kale?

My first thought is, “Meh, it’s just a vegetable.” But according to this WebMD article, kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet! While I know several people who are or have done “the Maker’s Diet” or the “paleo diet,” I’m not quite ready for that type of food commitment and must ask, why diet when I can just eat super veggies like this? My point exactly.

So, what makes kale (also known as borecole) such a superstar?

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Just looking at the luscious colors (either green or red) and hearty texture (that’s apparently great for stir fry), it’s easy enough to guess that kale belongs to the same family as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts in the Brassica family. On the nutrient side, kale is known for being an excellent source of antioxidants including vitamins A, C, and K. It has carotenoids and flavonoids that are specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits and is filled with the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds: lutein and zeaxanthin .

According to WebMD, one cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

After hearing several friends rave about it’s nutritious content and flavor, I decided to pick some up at my local international market. I tore off a small piece from one of the leaves, but didn’t find myself madly in love. I figured eating fresh kale the way I typically eat spinach in my salad was not going to work. While I’m not a big fan of veggies, I do love chips. So with a little help from my handy dandy conventional oven, I decided to make kale chips!

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To hydrate, preheat the oven at 300 degrees. After rinsing and drying the kale, cut into edible pieces keeping in mind that pieces will shrink. Place the kale on a baking shert or foil and sprinkle with a little pepper and Parmesan cheese or other seasoning (such as chili flakes, lemon pepper) to taste. Bake the kale between 12-18 minutes or until the kale darkens. Tell me how yours turns out and enjoy!

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