As I’m sure you know by now, kale is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. One of the major benefits of this superfood is its cancer-fighting properties – glucosinolate phytonutrients help to inhibit the formation of tumors and ward off enzymes that are affiliated with cancer.
Kale’s antioxidants also help to prevent cancer from forming – its antioxidants remove free radicals from the body (free radicals are hazardous to the body because they accelerate aging and lead to diseases like cancer).
In addition to lowering the risk of bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostrate cancers, kale also improves cognitive function (who knew that there was a food out there that actually made you smarter??), supplies cardiovascular support, improves blood glucose control in diabetes, lowers blood pressure…and much, much more. An added bonus? It also helps to promote healthy skin, hair and bones.
Unfortunately, in it’s raw form (eaten alone), it is not so good. Here are a few simple ways to make it not only edible, but actually taste good:
- Make a smoothie. Mix it with fruit and blend it into a smoothie. My go-to recipe is pineapple, banana, spinach, kale (duh), collard greens and flax seed. You won’t even taste the greens! But you still get all of the benefits of them.
2. Sautée it with other veggies. You should note that (like most vegetables), some of kale’s benefits are lost when cooked. The plus side? It actually tastes pretty good this way. This was what I made last night: sauteed (organic) kale and spinach, cooked with olive oil, herbs and sliced almonds; organic broccoli cooked with olive oil and sliced almonds (again); combine it all together and top it off with feta cheese and pesto sauce. Put the spinach and kale blend on whole grain toast or eat it with the broccoli. I promise – it’s delicious! You can also substitute the broccoli with asparagus, or any other veggie of your choosing. I find it amazing how just a bit of cheese/pesto/almonds can make a vegetable go from so-so to delicious.
3. Make chips. After rinsing and drying the kale, chop it up, drizzle it with some olive oil and salt/herbs (maybe even some parmesan) and cook in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes at 300 degrees F.
4. Make soup. I like this recipe from health.com: Olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, salt, garlic, vegetable broth, kale, cannelloni beans, black beans, black paper, red wine vinegar and rosemary.
5. Mix up a salad. Blend some spinach, kale and whatever other ingredients suit your fancy (personally, I like a lot in my salad: edamame, corn, raw broccoli, tomato, onion, walnuts, avocado, chickpeas, cucumber, celery, feta cheese…tossed with some lemon/olive oil). Yum!
6. Add it to your pasta. First sautée the kale a bit in some olive oil. Then add it to some whole grain pasta, along with organic tomatoes, almonds, pesto or tomato sauce and some feta cheese.
7. Sweet potato it up. I eat sweet potatoes several times a week – mainly because when I get home late from work/yoga/etc, I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, but still want to eat fresh, healthy food. Sweet potatoes are super healthy and also taste good on their own. After baking them in the oven (they generally take close to an hour to fully cook), top them off up with some sauteed kale; goat cheese or ricotta; and garlic.