Crunchy, Crispy, Kale

Recently, everyone’s been talking about kale! It’s being discussed in every Healthy Living segment on daytime TV talk shows, it’s in health magazines, it’s in every nutrition blog (!), and it’s even making an appearance in vending machines as a chip! So, what’s so great about this leafy green that has everyone talking?

Kale, like broccoli and collard greens, is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Like its family members, it demonstrates many of the same health benefits. Kale is full of powerful antioxidants and is a great source of calcium.

The USDAs Nutrient Database for Standard Reference  reports that 1 cup of kale has:

  • 34 calories
  • 90 mg of calcium (9% DV)
  • 80 mg of vitamin C (8% DV)
  • 515 mcg of vitamin A (205% DV)
  • 574 mcg of vitamin K (717% DV)
  • 299 mg of potassium (9% DV)

Kale is a great source of vitamins and minerals, and surprisingly, a source of omega 3 fatty acids too. Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to:

  • reduce depression symptoms
  • protect against memory loss and dementia
  • reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer
  • support a healthy pregnancy, and
  • ease aching joints and inflammatory skin condition.

Perhaps the largest deterrent when it comes to eating kale is that most people don’t know how to prepare it. Below are two recipes for two unique and delicious ways to prepare kale.

Kale Chips (from here)

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt

Directions:

1)      Preheat oven to 350oF. Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2)      With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.

3)      Lay kale flat on cookie sheet. Bake until the edges brown, but aren’t burnt, about 10-15 minutes.

Get creative! Use your favorite seasonings to make these chips your own. Try garlic salt, lemon and black pepper, or even just plain sea salt and cracked pepper.

Nutritional Information per Serving (per 1/6 of the recipe):

*Calories: 58                                      *Total Fat: 2.8g                        *Cholesterol: 0mg

Kale with Pan-Fried Walnuts (Edited from here)

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale, stems and center ribs discarded
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Directions:

1)      Tear kale into large pieces, then cook in a large pot of boiling water, uncovered. Cook for about 6 minutes, or until tender.

2)      Drain kale, and when cool, press out excess liquid.

3)      In a pan, cook walnuts over medium heat in oil, stirring occaisonaly, until golden; about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4)      Add kale and salt a pepper to taste. Cook, tossing, until heated through.

5)      Serve kale warm.

Do you have a favorite recipe with kale? Share it with us below!

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