What is Kale?
Kale is a member of the cruciferous family and is a highly nutrient dense vegetable. It is an excellent source of calcium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin A, Vitamin C and vitamin E. Kale is very often used in green juices and smoothies due to its health benefits.
Benefits & Medical Uses of Kale
When chewing kale, (and other brassicas broccoli and cabbage) they release sulphoraphanes, which boost the body’s ability to remove toxins. Moreover, the indole-3-carbinole in brassicas promotes DNA repair and may stop cancer-cell growth. Research suggests that kale is effective in preventing and fighting bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer.
Vitamin E in kale can preserve elasticity in the skin and prevent stretch marks. It is also known to generally support pregnancy. Kale is also a great source of vitamin K, which is necessary for bone growth and needed to make thrombin, the substance that allows blood to clot.
To retain the most nutrients, eat raw, steam or stir fry rather than boil and chop the leaves at the very last moment.
Recipes with Kale
White Bean, Greens and Tomato Gratin
- 1 large bunch of kale
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked or canned white beans, rinsed and drained if canned
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch round or 10-inch oval gratin or baking dish. Remove tough stems from greens and rinse well. Stack greens and cut into thin strips.
- In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add greens and cook until tender, tossing often, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add beans, tomatoes, broth, thyme and salt and mix well. Spoon into prepared gratin dish, spreading evenly.
- Topping: In small bowl, mix all ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over top of greens mixture. Bake until hot, about 40 minutes.
Crispy Kale Chips
Betcha can’t eat just one of these light, crispy snacks. Nutritional yeast gives them a tangy, almost cheesy flavor. If you are concerned about gluten, check to make sure the brand of nutritional yeast you use was grown on beets, not barley.
- 1 12-oz. bunch curly kale, center
- stems removed, each leaf torn
- into 4 pieces (6 cups)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 3 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1. Place kale in bowl. Rub oil, lemon juice, and salt into leaves with hands. Add nutritional yeast, and toss well.
2. Spread kale onto dehydrator trays without overlapping. Dehydrate 2 to 4 hours, or until dry and crispy. Turn off dehydrator, and cool completely.
Nutritional Values in Kale
|Nutrient||Value pr 100g|
|Vitamin C||120 mg|
|Vitamin B6||1.3 mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||500 µg|
|Vitamin A, IU||9990 IU|
|Vitamin K||704.8 µg|
|Saturated fat||0.09 g|
Watts, Charlotte (2011) “100 best foods for pregnancy” Parragon.
Manheim, Jason (2011) “The healthy green drink diet”. Skyhorse Publishing