All Hail King Kale!
Kale is effing amazing. If you don’t like the taste of it then I suggest you start faking it until you do… here’s why.
A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains:
- Vitamin A 206% – good for vision and skin
- Vitamin K 684% – protects against cancer & blood clotting, good for bones, lowers cholesterol
- Vitamin C 134% – promotes a healthy immune system (there is more Vitamin C in 1 cup of kale than in a whole orange and 4.5 times more than spinach)
- Vitamin B6 9%
- Manganese 26%
- Calcium 9% – strengthens bones, take that milk
- Copper 10%
- Potassium 9% – reduces blood pressure
- Magnesium 6% – protects against type 2 diabetes and heart disease
- Then it contains 3% for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus.
This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.
*kale freezes well and tastes sweeter and more flavorful after exposed to frost
*Don’t like the taste of kale? Add lemon juice to reduce the intense flavors
*When raw, kale contains sulforaphane, a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties (broccoli has it too!!!)
*Looking to lower your cholesterol? Steam your kale, its more effective.
Cooking with Kale:
Kale comes in all different shapes, sizes and colors. Personally, I think Tuscan Kale (also called dinosaur kale) is the best tasting and easiest to prepare.
Thoroughly wash and dry. Cut the tough stems out. Roll the leaves into a long cigar shape and slice crosswise into ribbons (optional: massage kale for 30 seconds). For chopped salads, cut the ribbons into smaller pieces. For adding to stews or pastas, you can just use the ribbons without further cutting. Yep, that’s all you have to do.
Here is one of my favorite asian kale salad recipes from Cookie + Kate:
- 1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato/Tuscan/dinosaur kale but regular curly kale works, too)
- fine-grain sea salt
- 1 cup chopped snow peas (slice off tough ends first)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and ribboned with a vegetable peeler
- 1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 heaping cup organic edamame (if using frozen edamame, defrost by tossing into a pot of boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes)
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into small chunks
- 1 large shallot, finely sliced
- handful cilantro, chopped
- handful Thai basil (or regular basil), chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (or other low-sodium soy sauce*)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- Use a chef’s knife to remove the tough ribs from the kale, then discard them. Chop the kale leaves into small, bite-sized pieces and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the kale with a dash of sea salt and use your hands to massage the kale by scrunching up the leaves in your hands and releasing until the kale is a darker green and fragrant. Toss the remaining salad dressing ingredients with the kale.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all the ingredients until emulsified. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve.
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for a day or two.
*MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Tamari is a gluten-free Japanese soy sauce that has a flavor I love and is readily available at stores. If you want your salad to be gluten-free, be sure to pick a gluten-free soy sauce.