How the Hell Do I Eat Kale?
Let’s take a survey: Raise your hand if you heard of kale before Beyoncé wore it on her shirt. No? That’s all right. You’re here now and you’ve probably wondered what the big deal is and how to eat this distinguished veggie.
So Where Did Kale Come from Anyway?
We’re all familiar with the phrase; “there’s nothing new under the sun.” Kale is no exception to this cliché. The kale we enjoy today is the same kale that was enjoyed 2000 years ago by ancient Greeks and Romans. It has likely been in the United States for centuries, since Europeans first brought it over.
What Can Kale Do for Me?
For starters, compared to many other green veggies, the calcium in kale is highly absorbable. 1 ½ cups of cooked kale provide as much absorbable calcium as is found in an 8-oz serving of cow’s milk. So if you’re dairy free or not a big dairy consumer, kale can literally help you build healthy bones.
Also, as part of a balanced meal pattern, kale…
- Can possibly reduce your risk for glaucoma because it’s high in dietary nitrates and other compounds important for eye health
- May help relieve constipation due to its high fiber content
- Could help reduce your risk for a stroke or heart attack by lowing LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol
- Can be a yummy addition to your next meal or snack.
Three Fun Ways to Add Kale to Your Diet
Kale. You know why it’s here. You know why it’s good for you. Now how do you eat it?
- Put it in a salad. Seriously. After rinsing the kale in lukewarm water, pull the leaves off the large central stem. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Use a salad spinner or clean towel to dry the leaves. Add to bowl with your favorite toppings and dressing. Done!
Tip: Massage the kale with your hands for about 2 minutes before adding to your salad. This breaks down some of the cellulose, which is what makes the kale tough. Try it. You won’t be sorry.
Serving Suggestion: Kale + chopped apple + bacon + vinaigrette. Need I say more?
- Like potato chips? Try kale chips. They’re very tasty and easy to make. Pre-heat oven to 300° Rinse kale. Remove stems. Rip into small, evenly sized pieces. Dry THOROUGHLY with clean towel or salad spinner. Toss with small amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. Use your hands to toss so that the oil and spices get on every leaf. Spread into thin layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until leaves look crispy, but start checking about 8 minutes into cooking as they will go from crispy to scorched very quickly.
Tip: You may need to make several batches or use multiple baking sheets so that none of your kale pieces are touching when you bake them. They will be crispier if they are not touching.
- Make it into green lemonade. Yup, you read that right. Throw a handful (or two if you’re brave) of kale into your juicer along with half a small lemon, and a few Granny Smith apples. And drink your kale. Bottoms up!
Tip: Search for a discount juicer at a nearby garage sale or thrift store. It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive to get the job done.
Add more kale to your diet today and see what it can do for you!