You may be used to seeing kale as a garnish on your dish in a restaurant, but this leafy green veggie is much more beneficial when it IS your food, rather than simply decorating it. This nutrient powerhouse has been repeatedly shown to have powerful antioxidant capabilities as well as offer protection against certain types of cancer. Like broccoli and cabbage, kale has the ability to activate enzymes in the liver, which detoxify cancer causing substances, reducing their ability to damage cells. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C as well as the carotenoids that are important for good vision and the prevention of cataracts. It’s also rich in calcium.
If you aren’t familiar with kale, it’s time to get friendly with it! It’s an easy veggie to add to any meal as a side dish (but make it a BIG side dish!) or tossed right in with other food. Kale can be steamed, sauteed with a little garlic, olive oil and sea salt, eaten raw in a salad, added to soups, rice or pasta dishes or baked into crispy chips. Once you begin eating kale and other leafy greens on a regular basis, you’ll begin to feel the difference and you’ll likely notice that you begin to crave not-so-healthy foods less.
Here is a tasty and easy kale recipe to try (from Integrative Nutrition):
Massaged Kale and Raisin Salad
1 bunch kale
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup raisins
3/4 cup diced apple (about 1/2 apple)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar/red wine vinegar
- De-stem kale by pulling leaves away from stems. Wash leaves. Spin or pat dry. Stack leaves, roll up, and cut into thin ribbons. Put kale in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and massage it into the kale with your hands for 2 minutes.
- Stir onions, raisins, apple and sunflower seeds into kale. Dress with olive oil and vinegar. Taste for salt and vinegar, adding more if necessary. This salad will keep for several days and improve with age.