ALL HAIL THE ALMIGHTY KALE!

KALE! What do you know about Kale? Most of us have seen it, dressing a display at the seafood counter, used as garnish at a restaurant for your side of veggies, or at the sushi counter holding the salmon. Until I started researching organic food, I thought kale was an inedible decoration.

Fresh green kale in ceramic bowl. Selective focus.

Here are some facts about the almighty KALE!

FACT: Nutritional POWERHOUSE!
“One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.” –WEBMD
-Promotes eye health
-Rich in antioxidants, specifically carotenoids and flavonoids, which are associated with many anti-cancer benefits.
-lower cholesterol
-reduces the risk of heart disease, especially when eaten cooked as opposed to raw.
-Vitamin K RICH! – Vitamin K is a powerful, but too much vitamin K can pose problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the medication. Consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet.

My favorite was to eat kale is kale chips. These are simple and tasty snacks that satisfy the crunch factor that many of us crave and a much healthier choice than reaching for that bag of chips or taking that trip to the vending machine.

Here is a simple recipe that you will be happy you have in your archive:
Preheat oven to 350
1 bunch washed kale, (remove kale leaves from the thicker stems and break bigger leaves into slightly larger than bite sized pieces)
Olive Oil
Salt-Recommended

Drizzle oil over kale pieces. You only need enough to cover each piece, so go slow. You can always add more. Add desired spices. Mix with your hands until each piece has a light coating of oil and spice and everything nice. Lie flat on an ungreased cookie sheets in a single layer, touching is fine. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t crisp up too much! Once they are baked you can eat them pretty much immediately. You should let them cool for at least a minute so that oil can chill out. I usually can’t wait and end up burning my tongue! The price we pay I guess. 🙂
You can season them with whatever tickles your fancy, so they are versatile to accompany any meal! Having a Mexican night? Try kicking up your kale chips with chipotle powder! YUM!
Another way you can kale it up is to steam it. Steaming this green and others significantly reduces the size of the green. When you cook them down, they shrink, so prepare for meals accordingly. I will steam them until they have reduced to about half or ¾ size. I used a metal colander in a soup pot as my steamer, a double boiler works as well. After they are steamed, add butter or a drizzle of olive oil, fresh garlic if you like it raw or sautéed with butter or olive oil prior to mixing with your greens, to the kale, stir and serve! Its also nice with a squeeze of lemon for some zing!
Enjoy kale in these different ways! Share with us YOUR favorite kale inspired dish!
Happy eating to you!

*TIP OF THE WEEK
Drinking carrot juice is effective in getting rid of blemishes and scars. You can also apply carrot pulp on your skin to clear the blemishes.
http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-carrots-for-skin-hair-and-health/