Friday, July 18, 2014

Get to Know Kale (Includes 3 recipes!)

I didn't grow up eating kale. I think we only started eating it, and regularly at that, about 2 1/2 years ago. It is one of the best things you can put in your body and your growing kids' bodies if you have any of those. I'm going to share a couple kale recipes at the end of this post that both my kids enjoy mucho, one of which is a raw kale salad.

Before I share a few ways to get this amazing plant in your body, I want to just touch on some of the benefits. I say "real food heals" A LOT because, well- it does. But when I think of a healing real food to start with I very often think of kale first. Eat kale on a regular basis and get an idea of how food fits into the epigenetics of your life!

Check out the top 10 benefits of kale:

1) High in fiber One cup of kale has 5 grams of fiber which makes it great for aiding in digestion and elimination. It’s also filled with just so many nutrients and vitamins like folate and magnesium (not to mention those listed below!)
2) High in iron Kale has more iron than beef, per calorie. Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, the transport of  oxygen to various parts of the body, as well as cell growth, proper liver function and more.
3) High in Vitamin K Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Increased levels of vitamin K have been shown to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease as well.
4) Full of antioxidants Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
5) Great anti-inflammatory food One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
6) Great for cardiovascular support Kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
7) High in Vitamin A Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
8) High in Vitamin C This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
9) High in calcium Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. If you are in the "cow's milk is for baby cows" camp or the "pasteurizing of dairy screwed dairy up" camp and you avoid dairy/milk then this is quite a nice way to get some calcium!
10) Great detox food  Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

Now let's talk recipes! I haven't shared my kale chip recipe yet so it will debut below and then I have a link to my most favorite kale salad recipe that came from a torn out page of a magazine that my mom brought me two summers ago. I just had some today because I had been typing up this post and thinking about the salad...and I had to get some in my belly!
Kale Chips
  • 1 bunch kale
  • grapeseed oil
  • garlic powder
  • turmeric
  • spirulina
  • sea salt or Himalayan salt
 If you don't like recipes without exact measurements then you'll not like this one! :P
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Remove kale from stem and tear it up placing in bowl
  3. Pour grape seed oil on it (if I HAD to guess an amount I would say about 1/8 c??)
  4. Massage into Kale
  5. Sprinkle garlic powder, spirulina and turmeric on kale and do some more massaging
  6. Line 1-2 (depends on how big your kale bunch is) baking sheets with parchment paper
  7. Spread kale on to sheets then sprinkle with sea salt or Himalayan salt
  8. Bake for 15-20 mins
Super Tasty and Fresh Kale Salad
I actually shared this recipe at my old blog and it can be found HERE. I have noticed that sometimes the dressing if "off" and I think it just depends on how big the fruits are and how big the kale bunch is. I never measure anything...sorry!
I think my favorite thing about this salad is the dressing. It's just so simple and fresh! The juices from the fruits end up mixing with the olive oil, the juice from the tomato and the salt and it just makes it one of the tastiest "salad dressings" I've ever had. My 4 and 2 year old even gobble it up...that's like the biggest win of ALL wins! Raw kale salad in their bellies? YES PLEASE!!
Here's a pic from today's salad that I'm sad is gone now, haha! I spy tomato, green onion and is that BACON? Yes, yes it is!

Green Smoothie
  • small bunch kale
  • small bunch spinach
  • 1-2 green apples
  • 1 banana
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • pinch spirulina
I have made this in a regular blender and a Vitamix. If you don't have a Viatmix you'll need to chop up the apple a bit
Blend it all up and drink it :P

Have I ever mentioned that my favorite color is green? I mean LOOK at it!

What are your favorite ways to eat kale?

If you'd like to grow your own kale no matter what size yard you have, grab a Kale Grow Bag Set from Gardenuity! The Kale will ship separately as live plants and they will be ready to harvest shortly after planting. Then you can reuse the grow bag next year or use it to plant herbs for indoors over the winter. Win win! Go get your kale on peeps!

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