by A’verria Martin, Ph.D.
Welcome back to the Eating for Success Series! This week our focus in on Kale! This beautiful leafy green is by far one of my favorites. Weekly I tell someone that I have “a mild obsession for kale” and all for good reason. Not only is kale (aka. The Queen of Greens) amazingly delicious and versatile; it is a nutritional powerhouse that calorie for calorie cannot be beat. Eating nutrient rich kale provides your body with significant vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; laying the foundation for countless health benefits.
Here are a few reasons to add kale to you regular diet:
1. Kale is extremely low in calories (1 cup = 36 calories) and boasts zero grams of fat.
2. Kale is high in the macronutrient fiber (1 cup = 5 grams) aiding digestion and elimination.
3. Kale has anti-inflammatory properties, potentially preventing and reversing the effects of arthritis, heart disease and a number of autoimmune diseases.
4. Kale has more iron than beef! Iron helps to metabolize proteins and supports the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
5. Kale possesses high amounts of Vitamin K (1,020% DV) which promotes bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Vitamin K is also known to protect against various types of cancer.
6. Kale is high in Vitamin A (180% DV); supporting healthy vision and skin.
7. Kale provides high amounts of Vitamin C (200% DV), which is beneficial for a healthy immune system and metabolism.
8. One cup of Kale provides 121 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.
9. Kale lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, while increasing good (HDL) cholesterol levels, significantly decreasing risk for heart disease.
10. Kale is one of the best sources of beta-carotene – an antioxidant thought to prevent cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.
11. Kale has more calcium than milk; supporting bone loss prevention and a healthy metabolism.
Kale is actually a form of cabbage that does not form a head. It is green or reddish purple–depending on the variety—and has “frills” around the edges. It has a course texture and strong flavor; making it a good choice for sautéing and marinating. Unlike other greens (i.e., spinach), you can marinate Kale for 24 hours and it will keep its robust texture. When shopping for kale it should be firm, deeply colored, and have moist stems. Make sure to always remove the stems before adding kale to a recipe, as the stems provide an unpleasant bitterness.
• 1 bunch of Kale
• 1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
• 1 tsp seasoned salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Remove the leaves from stems. Wash and dry kale thoroughly. Tear into bite size pieces. Kale needs to be completely dry for best results—use salad spinner if available.
3. Toss the dry leaves with olive or avocado oil. Use hands to distribute evenly.
4. Lay a single layer on cookie sheet, trying to make the leaves as flat as possible.
5. Bake for 12 minutes, making sure not to burn. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and indulge!
• 1 bunch of kale
• 4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
• 4 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
• Juice of ½ lemon
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1. Remove the leaves from stems. Wash and dry kale thoroughly. Tear into bite size pieces.
2. Toss all ingredients together. Marinate for 4-24 hours, tossing occasionally. Enjoy alone or as a delicious side with lean protein.