Kale, once a mere garnish on your dinner plate, is now a well-known superfood. Kale gained its popularity within the past four years, but first made an appearance in the United States in the 17th century. Now, it’s found in salads, side dishes and in chip form.
Kale has grown in popularity due to its earthy taste. When cooked or steamed, kale loses some of the bitterness for a more mild taste. One cup of kale contains only 35 calories but is packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper and phosphorus. Kale also receives praise because it has been shown to lower the risk of bladder, ovary, colon and prostate cancer too. When kale is steamed, it releases fiber-like components that make it easier to bind with your digestive track, lowering your cholesterol levels.
Though Kale has grown in popularity, people like senior Michelle Lock prefer kale in one form over another.
“”It’s too bitter for me and no matter what I eat I with kale, I can only taste the kale,” Lock said. “I only like to eat kale in chip form.”
Known for congaing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, people like junior Rori Kotch incorporate kale into their detox cleanses.
“I incorporate Kale into my smoothies every morning,” Kotch said. “It’s a good way to get the extra antioxidants I need, plus, I like how it tastes.”
Curly kale, ornamental kale and Tuscan kale are just a few types of kale that can be seen at the supermarket, though curly kale is the most common. Curly Kale, dark green in color, is bitter and a bit peppery. Ornamental kale is purple, green or white, while Tuscan Kale is a dark blue-green color and has a slightly sweeter taste than curly kale.
Depending on your tastes, the options are endless for what you can do with kale. Here, we’ve provided a few ways to incorporate kale into your everyday meal(s).
Preparing kale: Make sure you rinse the leaves under cold water completely to remove any dirt from it. Then, to get the best health benefits and flavors out of kale, drizzle on some lemon juice.
Recipe courtesy of whfoods.com
- 1 lb kale, chopped
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or chopped
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop garlic.
- Fill bottom of steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to boil.
- While water is coming to a boil, slice kale leaves into 1/2-inch slices, and cut again crosswise. Cut stems into 1/4-inch slices.
- When water comes to a boil, add kale (and onion if desired) to the steamer basket and cover. Steam for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and toss with mediterranean dressing ingredients. For the best flavor, toss with dressing while kale is still hot
Recipe courtesy of redefinedmom.com
- 2 bunches of kale (about 2.5 lbs)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lay each kale leaf on cutting board and cut out hard stem with a sharp knife.
- Place leaves in large bowl of water and wash well. Drain kale and dry it in a salad spinner.
- Place dry kale leaves in large bowl and coat with olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
- Massage leaves with hands to carefully coat all leaves with oil and salt and pepper mixture.
- Place kale on ungreased cookie sheets. (You’ll need to roast in batches.) Be careful to not place too much kale on a cookie sheet or it was steam instead of roast into chips. Try to achieve about 1/4 inch between all pieces of kale.
- Roast for 15 minutes or until crisp.
Chia seeds are another superfood packed with omega 3, omega 6, calcium, iron, magnesium, boron, potassium and fiber. Even though the seeds are small, they absorb the sugar in your blood pressure and help with acid reflux. Like kale, chia seeds are good for getting rid of toxins and help with arthritis. For anyone looking to tone up their muscles, chia seeds are a great addition to your diet. “Chia seeds are yummy and great in smoothies,” said senior Leti Ras. Chia seeds do not change the flavor of your food and are low in calories, so feel free to toss them into your oatmeal, smoothie or even cookies.
Blueberry and Chia Seed Smoothie
Recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com
- 2 tbs of chia seeds
- 1½ cups almond milk, divided
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- 1 heaping tbs of coconut butter or coconut oil
- Raw honey, to taste
- Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Add raw honey to taste.
When it comes to getting healthy, kale and chia seeds are two great and easy superfoods to add to your everyday diet.
words_keri bruner. photo_lily zhang