Do you eat superfoods?
Kale is one of the most studied, nutrient dense foods out there and is amongst the list of superfoods. This loaded dark leafy green has many beneficial properties making it one of the vegetables I grow year round. It is a cruciferous vegetable in the cabbage family with many varieties with vibrant greens and purple colours.
In 1 cup of raw Kale (1/2 cup cooked) it contains:
206% of the daily value of Vitamin A
684% of the daily value of Vitamin K
134% of the daily value of Vitamin C
It also contains vitamin Bs, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, folate and magnesium.
A total of 33.5 calories in a cup breaking down to;
6.7 carbohydrates (1.3 of which being fibre), and 2.2 grams of protein.
The 0.5 g of fat that is contained the in the leaves is Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
The high content of antioxidants and well as flavonoids and polyphenols counteract oxidative damage by free radicals which are the leading causes of rapid aging and disease. Antioxidants have been well studied and are known to protect the heart, lowers blood pressure, reduces chances of depression and anxiety, while being antiviral and anti-inflammatory. The word superfood was created for marketing of health foods. Foods with the label “superfood” has been through a criteria regarding it’s nutrient density and bioavailability.
Here on Vancouver Island most years I am able to grow Kale generally purchase kale from local farmers from March to December. Supporting local farmers is important for us here on the island to help improve food security. When buying kale look for bright healthy looking leaves and rinse them when getting home to remove bacteria or bugs for longer storage.
Kale can be a little tough and bitter if you are not taking the time to properly prepare it. Start by washing it in the sink and lightly massaging the green leaf under warm water. Next you will want to de-rib unless it is baby kale the stem running down the centre can be completely unenjoyable, do this by running a sharp knife down each side of the stem.
Chop kale to the size which fits your recipe, stacking the leaf after de-ribbing and dicing will give you squares great for stir-fry for salads try rolling the kale and slicing along the roll which will give long thin strips perfect for salads.
After cutting I suggest to put in a bowl and drizzle about a teaspoon of oil across the leaves. He best oils to use are avocado oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil or olive oil. Massage the oil into the sliced leaves by kneading and squeezing the kale, rub it between your hands until looks dark and silky. The more love you put into the kale massage the more love it will give back, or at the very least taste better.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10-15 minutes Total time: 25-30 minutes
1 bunch Kale
1/3 cup Cashews
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp Avocado Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Prepare as above then cut/tear kale into desired size.
In a food processor blend up cashews and the nutritional yeast with avocado oil (or oil of your choice)
Put blender contents into a glass bowl then add the kale, stir well to ensure kale is evenly coated with the oily mixture.
Once well coated, spread kale out on the parchment paper and Bake until the edges are looking crunchy or slightly brown (not burnt)
What is your favourite way to use kale? Tell me in the comments below!