By Jennifer Keirstead, Holistic Nutritionist
Kale seems to be the new, up and coming super food. One reason is it’s loaded with naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Kale is a great source of vitamin C, beta carotene (vitamin A) and also contains various B-vitamins. It’s loaded with minerals, including bone-loving calcium and magnesium. It contains plenty of trace minerals and will provide valuable toxin-busting antioxidants to your diet.
This humble green, leafy vegetable can be found in any grocery store and even better news, grows well in the cooler temperatures of fall and even California winters, so you’ll likely see it fresh and perky, waiting for your purchase, at this very moment.
When shopping for kale, it should be brightly colored and quite firm. Take a pass on kale that’s faded in color and wilted. If it looks yellowish in color, it may mean it was harvested too late. Avoid bunches that have bruised leaves, as this means they’re already slowly decomposing. Remember, leafy greens should always be purchased organic since they’re very vulnerable to absorption of toxic sprays.
Consuming dark, leafy greens like kale on a regular basis can help with gentle, daily detoxification.
How to Use It
These greens can be used in any soup, stew, or side dish where you would use Swiss chard or spinach. You can also lightly steam the greens and add a little fresh lemon and sea salt – yum!
Slice the green leaves as thinly as possible to create the best texture. Kale by nature, is a tough vegetable. Thin slicing makes it easier to consume raw.
Commercial Kale Chips
These chips you increasingly see in the stores are dehydrated at very low temperatures, so they are qualified as a raw food. They make a great snack for adults and kids!
Homemade Kale Chips
Why not make your own? Baked kale chips are quick and easy. Bake only as much as you plan to eat in a sitting as these chips lose their crunch in a few hours. Google “kale chips” and you’ll find plenty of recipes to choose from.
Green leafy vegetables make an excellent addition to your favorite smoothie. Start off by adding just one or two leaves and see if you even notice it. A small handful of kale leaves with the stems removed (or not) boosts the nutrition of any smoothie. Try our Green Goddess Smoothie after your next workout.
Enjoy your kale!