Kale: What The Cool Kids Are Eating

If you love kale stand up and be counted! Is anyone standing with me?

Kale is a SUPER food. Very nearly a magic food. Read all about it and then cast your vote.

Baby kale growing in my garden. Last year it struggled because the rabbits ate it. This year the rabbits are eating my parsley. No rhyme or reason those rabbits.
 
Kale is a leafy green vegetable in the Brassica family. Other Brassica’s include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower. Kale is available all year round (in my grocery store) but it is most tasty in the late winter through the summer when the leaves are tender.
Kale is a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin and a good source of calcium. Kale (and all other Brassica’s) contain organosulfur phytonutrients, which is believed to be excellent at preventing cancer. These organosulfurs are even more potent when the Brassicas are chopped.
 
How all this cancer fighting is accomplished is still a bit of a mystery. There is a complex inter-reaction of phytochemicals. Magic really. It is believed that the body’s detoxification process is supported and that helps clear out carcinogens. Regardless, eating kale, reduces your likelihood of getting cancer. That’s all we really need to know.
And that’s not all.
The vitamin A in kale has been proven to reduce the risk of cataracts and promotes lung health. Especially important for smokers, ex-smokers or people who’ve been inhaling second hand smoke.
1 cup of cooked kale contains 88% of our daily needs of vitamin C. 88%!! Vitamin C is a huge help for supporting our immune systems. No supplements needed, just kale. Vitamin C also is a great anti-oxidant, which everyone needs, and protects against some types of arthritis.
 
In that same 1 cup our new best friend kale provides 27% of our daily requirement of manganese. Manganese, while not being well known, is hugely important. It’s needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and in the production of sex hormones.
 
Read that last paragraph again. That’s right, kale prevents cancer AND aids in sex.
 
There’s more.
Kale is high in fiber and great for managing our blood sugar levels. It is an excellent choice for diabetics. All leafy greens, kale included, contain vitamin E which slows the decline of mental function as we age.
So, kale introduced into your diet will help to prevent cancer, keep you smart as a tack as you age physically, prevent blood sugar fluctuations AND help keep this active in the bedroom.
Are some of you asking what to do with this magical leaf?
Well, I’ll tell you.
 
Young leaves can be added to a salad. Just toss them in raw and delicious.
As kale grows it develops a pretty tough stem. In most cases remove the stem. Fold the leaf in half and cut just on the inside of the stem. Then carry on chopping as needed.
You can make kale chips. I’ve tried this recipe from Smitten Kitchen a few times and it is spectacular! Be careful not to over salt. Kale chips can be eaten as a snack, tossed in a salad or mixed with popcorn. And FYI- my kids enjoy kale in chip form.
 
Tougher leaves are great stir fried or steamed. I like to saute a little garlic in oil, then throw in chopped kale, toss to mix. Add a little water if needed and cook until leaves are wilted. To finish add salt and pepper and some fancy oil or vinegar. Sesame oil is lovely. Balsamic vinegar is good too.
 
And lastly, my very new favourite, raw kale salad.
We had this last night and we are having it again tonight. Remove stem and chop leaves into smallish pieces. Toss in a bowl with the juice from 1 lime. You need to get your hands in there and squish to really tenderize the kale with the lime juice. When you feel the leaves are starting to get softer, add a splash of soy sauce, olive oil and salt and pepper. Add herbs, I’ve been using chives and dill.
 
It is awesome!!
 
I suppose you could add some other veggies but why dilute the excellence that is kale.
Kale is also a great addition to soups and stews. Really it should be a chicken noodle soup staple with all it’s immune boosting abilities.
Any kale lovers out there have some ideas to share? Anyone never had kale? Do you hate it?
 
 
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Comments

  1. Kristin @ Ellie-Town says:

    Your kale salad with lime juice looks so tasty. I'm going to look for kale today and try that recipe tonight!

  2. I am not opposed to Kale but now that you say Kale chips? I think I'm in.

    New kitchen, here I come.

  3. Heidi Kelly says:

    GREAT Post! I just tried Kale for the first time this year, but have only used it in soups thus far. I am going for the chips next, I wonder how they would be with taco seasoning?? :-D

    xoxo,
    Heidi

  4. Sippy Cup Mom says:

    I did not know all that, thanks for sharing!

    I made Kale Chips 2 weeks ago and while I loved it my son and husband were not a fan. :-( I think I did over salt it.

  5. Wanderlust says:

    That kale salad looks lovely! Yum. It's not something I would typically try but you have me curious.

  6. Jessica Anne says:

    I wish I liked Kale, but not so much. Although that salad looks pretty good.

  7. I do mixed greens salads a lot, so I may need to grab some kale next time.

  8. Thanks for the kale post. I'm making a veggie garden once we get our fence done in the next couple of weeks. I want to have an herb garden and now that I read about kale, I will be putting this in my garden. Great post!!!

  9. I've been saying it for years- Learn to love kale!
    Great research on the above Kristin. I'll also reiterate that kale's CALCIUM content is huge. 1 cup of kale has 210mg which is up there with collard greens and bok choy.
    Now why can't I just eat spinach? Spinach also has calcium but has oxalic acid in it which competes with calcium during digestion so you don't end up absorbing that much.
    Chop kale away from the stem (too woody), chop finely and you can sneak it into pasta sauces easily, add to salad etc.
    Those with weak digestion will definitely want to steam it or loose stools may ensue!

  10. Aging Mommy says:

    Oh dear, please don't hate me but all I can say to kale is yuck! But I do like spinach and have fallen in love with spinach US style with that lovely creamy cheese sauce.

  11. I love sauteed kale with balsamic vinegar. I have never eaten it raw but maybe I'll try it out.

  12. Love, love, LOVE kale! Did I mention that I love kale!?!

  13. The Empress says:

    I love kale, but always prepared, like spinach. I've used it for decorating platters, as a caterer. I'll try it raw. They say it's best for the body that way.

  14. I LOVE Kale!!! LOVE it raw, LOVE it cooked, LOVE to hide from my kids in sauces, smoothies and stews…it makes me feel so sly! Morgan keeps picking it straight from the garden and eating it, shes says “I love this broccoli mama!”, and I just smile, teehee!! fresh picked baby leaves from the garden is bestest!! I can’t eat the store bought Kale raw, it’s just not the same. your kale looks different then mine?? I guess I must always plant curly kale, the edges of the leaves on mine is like curly parsley?! I’ve never seen the flat leaved variety b4. But the curls do make them nice and crunchy…mmmm

    • oh, I forgot to say, last year we froze all the leftovr kale from the garden by layering it in large flat containers, then it’s so easy to add to those winter sauces, roasts, stews etc, just peel a layer and break it up into the sauce.

  15. Lula Lola says:

    I like kale, never did anything nearly as yummy! I’m going to have to try that salad and those chips! Wonder how much and how often you need to eat it to get the most of its health benefits?
    I’m going to get some at my next trip to the grocery store!

    • Kristin says:

      Hi. You are my very first comment on wordpress. Thanks.
      The salad and the chips are super tasty. Let me know how they work for you.

      • Lula Lola says:

        I’ll let you know! And I didn’t get an emailed reply. I have that same problem with my blog, I tried to send you an email, but I got a delivery notification failure notice.
        I’m moving to wp.org and I hope that’ll make it easier! We’ll see.

  16. I made a mean kale stew that you have inspired me to find the recipe again. YUM!

  17. Carin B. says:

    I’ve never tried Kale before. Your salad also looks like fresh cooked spinach to me. It’s raw? I will definitely try it. The salad looks yummy!

  18. Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip says:

    Not a huge kale fan, but I might take a stab at those kale chips. I do love me some spinach though, and I am so proud that both my boys do too. I might try adding kale to a soup, now that you mentioned it too. Lots of things taste great in soups. Great blog! I’ve been seeing your comments on a lot of other blogs I follow. Looking forward to reading more by you!

    • Kristin says:

      My mother in law just told me tonight that she saw a recipe for spinach baked the same as the kale to make spinach chips. Thanks for readin. And commenting.

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