Kale: Queen of Greens
We all want to kick summer off on a healthier foot, and what better way to do that than with Superfoods – those magical morsels that are so rich with many benefits. Not so long ago, I introduced this Superfood series with, Chia: The Miracle Food. Today, it’s all about Kale: Queen Of Greens.
Unless you’ve been hiding under some rock, you’d already know that for a while there, Kale became the latest health craze and most popular kid on the block. A few years ago, I had never even heard of it, and now it’s consistently the first vegetable on my food shopping list each week.
After my diagnosis, I learned to love Kale and her leafy green sisters and never looked back. Different foods can certainly become fads for a period of time, but I personally think Kale isn’t one of them. This beauty has come into our awareness for a reason and is here to stay.
Kale is used widely for its amazing health benefits! They are:
- A detox food, containing both fiber and sulphur; which aid in the health of your liver, helping to rid your body of toxins.
- Meet well over 100% of your daily vitamin A requirement, which is more than any other leafy greens in existence! Vitamin A does incredible things for your immune system, is great for your vision + repairs the skin tissue.
- High in powerful antioxidants + alkaline in nature; which helps prevent and even fight cancer by inhibiting the production of DNA in cancerous cells.
- Kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, 10 x more vitamin C than spinach; which is great for the skin, boosts immune and metabolic function, aids in weight loss + lowers cholesterol.
- High levels of vitamin K which improves blood circulation and maintain strong bones.
- Contains high omega-3 fatty acids, making it a great anti-inflammatory food, reducing chronic inflammation in illnesses like depression, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The manganese and alpha-lipoic acid lowers glucose levels and prevents oxidative stress in diabetics.
- Easy to grow (a beginner gardener’s dream!).
Need some inspiration to get you hooked? Try out my Coconut Kale Chips below. They take minutes to make and are extremely tasty.
This dark leafy green is also great:
- in your morning smoothies
- shredded into thin slices and eaten raw in salads
- lightly sautéed with coconut oil, fresh garlic and onions
- steamed for a few minutes – enhances bile acid sequestrants which lower cholesterol. (Make sure you don’t overcook them and denature the proteins.)
A side note to remember: Rotate your greens as Kale contains a small amount of oxalates. Excess consumption can lead to intestinal discomfort and some may suffer from fatigue, chest pain and muscle weakness. The detoxifying properties eliminate toxins from the body.
Coconut Kale Chips
- 1 bunch of lacinato or curly Kale, stems removed
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flake for a bit of a kick or Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Cumin (optional)
- Himalayan Salt and Pepper to taste (NAS for MD/CHD sufferers)
- 1/3 cup Flaked Coconut
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Cut kale leaves into chip size segments, and set aside in a large bowl.
- Add flaked coconut, olive oil, spices, salt and pepper. Toss thoroughly to coat.
- Working in batches, roast the kale one layer at a time on a baking tray for 10-15 minutes (or until crispy).
If you’re not big on spices, you can just minus the cumin and red pepper flakes – they taste so good. Break your (rinsed) kale into bite-size pieces, drizzle with olive oil, and toss with a pinch of Himalayan salt and pepper instead. Om nom nom! Crispy wisps of delicious leafy greens (crunch)!
If you haven’t already got this nutritional powerhouse onto your plate, I highly suggest you do so! Add your own reasons in the comments and tell me, your favourite way to incorporate this Superfood into your diet?