Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crazy for Kale!

On my weekly trip to the local farmer's market this Sunday I happened upon a huge, green, leafy bundle of kale and just couldn't say no. Thing is...there's enough for about four different recipes. Not that I'm complaining.

Kale is full of so many minerals, vitamins and is definitely the "cool kid" these days when it comes to leafy greens. 

Kale has great nutritional value, which I'm sure isn't news to any of us since it has risen to the top of the superfood pyramid. But in a nutshell, Kale is very high in beta carotene, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. This calcium-rich green also contains sulforaphane, a chemical that is said to have anti-cancer properties. These properties are also said to be heightened when Kale is chopped or minced (think- food processor). The great thing about this particular superfood is that it's nutritional value is said to remain intact even after it's cooked. So there are so many reasons to put this vegetable on your shopping list.

So since it's "National Kale Day" and I often get questions about how to prepare kale, I thought I'd break it down for you and share my favourite things to do with Kale.

Kale Chips
These are my favourite and they keep well in an air-tight container. Super easy and quick to make and is the ultimate in healthy snacking

Kale Salad
While many think Kale is a bit bitter or strong tasting, the right techniques and tips can help you make a delicious kale salad that will make you forget all about romaine... well, for a little while. If you are nervous about committing to a whole bowl of raw kale, try mixing it with some field greens or another type of lettuce that you are comfortable with. (As you eat more raw kale, your taste buds will begin to love it)

Kale Smoothies
Kale can be added to your smoothies in addition to or in substitution of any other leafy green. I like to mix it with spinach though as I feel Kale alone is a little strong for my morning smoothie

Kale in place of Spinach
You can use Kale anywhere you'd use spinach. Sauteed with some vegetables, mixed into a rice pilaf, as an ingredient in your pasta sauce... your imagination is the only limitation, so have fun with it and work it into your daily meals.

Using a new ingredient can be an intimidating process but it's also a fun way to experiment and add some extra nutrients to your meals! Will post my Kale Chip recipe following this post so you can get in on the Kale action asap. Stay tuned!