Kale is a superstar standout of vegetables that is not only low in calories, provides so many vitamins and minerals but its also packed with fiber and phytonutrients as well. Remember phytonutrients? Some are antioxidants and some have anti inflammatory compounds that have important health benefits. Kale has some of the old standby phytonutrients and antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin C but also some recently discovered ones such as kaempferol and quercitin, to name a few.
The micronutrient standouts in KALE include vitamins K,C, A and the mineral Manganese, however KALE is also a great source of vitamin B6, and the minerals Copper, Calcium and Potassium. With only 20 CALORIES per half cup serving you cannot go wrong with this nutrient dense veggie.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE KALE?I tried 2 simple recipes today.
The way to prepare KALE and retain the highest amount of nutrients is to simply steam it.
First wash and cut off the thick stems at the bottom (some may say you can throw those in the steamer as well), then chop up the KALE in approximately 1/2" slices.
Throw it in a steamer of boiling water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
What I did was make some garlic flavored cous cous and tossed it with the steamed KALE, sliced cherry tomatoes and a homemade lemon dressing (see below). It was delicious!
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
3/4 tsp Pepper
You can add feta cheese, olives, pine nuts, cranberries, whatever your family likes! Make it your own.
Another recipe that I found online was KALE CHIPS:
- Preheat oven to 340 degrees
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cut the KALE as described in the recipe above.
- For one bunch of KALE toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and season with Kosher Salt.
- Put the KALE on the baking tray with the curly side down so it looks like a little upside down V.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
MOMS, TRY PUTTING THIS OUT FOR YOUR KIDS AFTER SCHOOL AS A SNACK. While the KALE CHIPS may not be the most photogenic of all snacks its really worth it! Let me know how it goes for you!