Oh how I love Kale! It’s an amazing food in that it is cram packed with so much nutrition. When considering the amount of nutrition per calorie, kale is one of the most nutritious foods a person can consume. One cup of kale has much more than your daily requirement of vitamin K and A. Kale is in fact one of the best sources of vitamin K and plays many roles in your body. It is important for proper clot formation, keeps your bones strong and helps prevent calcification of your arteries. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and also contains a good amount of calcium, iron, vitamin B6 and potassium. There is a high fibre content of kale that binds bile acids, lowering an individuals cholesterol. This reduces risk of heart disease.
Kale is very high in a variety of different flavonoids. These flavonoids act to provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This is important to help prevent and combat chronic inflammation and disease. Another reason to love kale is that it helps to prevent cancer. Kale contains a compound known as glucosinolate. Glucosinolates has been shown to prevent cancer of the prostate, colon, breast, bladder and ovary.
Despite the fantastic nutrition found in this leafy green, kale may seem like an intimidating vegetable. Its leaves are curly and rubbery, not quite what most people are used to compared to its delicate lettuce counterpart. If you’ve ever tried to eat kale raw you may have decided it will be on the top of your “what not to eat” list because it can be bitter and tough. Raw kale may not be for those new to this super-food. An easy and delicious way I like to introduce people to this nutrition powerhouse is to make kale chips.
Basic Kale Chip Recipe
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- Sea salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 250° F.
2.Wash the kale leaves and tear the leaves off of the thick stem and rip into smaller pieces. Spin the leaves in a salad spinner until they are entirely dry. It is very important to ensure the leaves are dry! If you don’t have a salad spinner, shake off the excess water as best you can and allow the kale leaves to air dry a few hours.
3. Drizzle leaves with the melted oil and rub the leaves to coat each one individually. Sprinkle with salt.
4. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet. Do your best to make sure none overlap or are folded as this will affect how crispy they turn out.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the leaves are crisp and dark green. Watch the kale closely at the end of cooking to make sure it doesn’t burn.
6. Remove the kale and allow to cool.
- It is very important to allow kale to fully dry before baking it. If you don’t, you will likely end up steaming kale resulting in mushy leaves versus the nice crispy texture that is desired.
- Be vigilant in watching the kale as the end of the cooking time approaches. Browned kale tends to be bitter and kale can quickly go from crispy to burnt.
- I have had some success baking wilted kale, finding it will turn out somewhat crispy. Firm kale does yield a better chip though.
- Kale is one vegetable that you should buy organic because it commonly contains pesticides that are toxic to the nervous system.