Nutritionists have always emphasized on consuming green leafy vegetables because of their health benefits. Many people don’t know about leafy greens other than spinach or cabbage. If you struggle with the same issue, try kale.
This article will help you know all about kale and how truly amazing it is. We also included some delicious recipesat the end that incorporate kale other than salads.
Kale is one of the healthiest leafy greens of the cabbage family to exist. It is also known as leafy cabbage and is mainly cultivated in cold temperatures for its edible, green, or purple leaves, which have a smooth or curly shape. Kale is probably the most essential, nutrient-dense component of a healthy diet.
Kale has more than enough nutrients. It is quite low in calories, carbs, and saturated fats. The larger portion of this fat is an omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid. A cup of chopped kale contains a great number of dietary fibers, proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and brain-boosting phytonutrients. It is highly enriched in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and calcium.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable. The most common variety of kale is called Scots kale or curly kale; it is green in color and has curly leaves. Another very common type is Lacinato or dinosaur kale; it is scaly, firm, more robust, and less bitter than curly kale.
Moreover, kale is loaded with all sorts of valuable compounds; some of them even possess highly effective medicinal properties. The main health benefits of consuming kale are as follows.
- Helps manage blood pressure.
- Boosts digestive health.
- Helps protect against cancer.
- Helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Promotes bone health.
- Helps with the growth of body tissues like hair and nails.
- Helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
One important thing to bear in mind is that kale is heavily contaminated with pesticides during cultivation. So, it is necessary to wash it thoroughly before consumption. Kale contains high levels of potassium and vitamin K; it may react with certain drugs like beta-blockers and blood thinners such as warfarin. A patient with kidney impairment should also use kale in moderation because of high levels of potassium.
Kale is a very hearty and crisp vegetable, with a hint of earthiness. The taste of this vegetable greatly depends on the season you are buying it in.
Kale can be used as any other leafy greens such as spinach. It is very versatile and goes with just about anything. Here we have some mouthwatering and healthy recipes that will help you put any variety of kale to work.
This is the most classic and healthy snack. Rather than buying the packaged version, try this recipe.
- Preheat the oven and remove the stems of rinsed and pat dried kale.
- Roughly chop the leaves and toss it with a tablespoon of oil.
- Season with red chili flakes, pepper, and salt. Transfer to a lined and greased baking dish.
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until crispy.
- Enjoy anytime.
Chicken Stew with Kale
To make this perfect, hearty bowl of stew,
- Take a whole chicken or if you want to make it in small quantities, half a pound bone-in pieces of chicken.
- Place the chicken in a pot with water, just enough to cover the chicken. Remember, a concentrated stock can always be watered down to your preference.
- Boil and cook this on medium heat until chicken is about to fall off the bone. Remove the chicken and shred it.
- Taste the stock, adjust the concentration with water, and add salt to taste.
- Turn off the heat.In a separate pan, add a tablespoon of oil, followed by diced onions and garlic.
- Once they are translucent and fragrant, add washed kale leaves.
- Cook it on medium heat until the kale wilts down and is cooked thoroughly. After cooking kale, season it with salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Slowly add the chicken stock and shredded chicken to this kale mixture and mix to cook thoroughly. Check for seasoning. Serve hot.
Shakshuka with Kale
This shakshuka-inspired brunch dish will replace tomatoes with kale.
- In a pan, add oil, followed by onions. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add garlic.
- After the garlic is golden, add in some green chilies, fry and then add kale and cook thoroughly.
- Add salt, pepper, red chili powder, dried oregano leaves, and coconut milk.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Crack eggs directly in the pan and season them with salt.
- Cover and cook until the eggs are done to your liking.
- Serve in the same pan.
Kale Cheese Dip
This one is a very healthy party favorite.
- Heat oil in a pan and add garlic. Once it is golden, add kale and cook thoroughly—season with salt and pepper.
- Heat heavy cream in a saucepan and add rosemary and thyme; let it infuse for 15 minutes. The quantity of cream should be less than kale.
- After it is infused, add the kale mixture to it, along with some mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Mix thoroughly.
- Put it in an oven-safe dish and top with panko or bread crumbs.
- Bake until golden and bubbly. Serve with kale chips and veggies.
This recipe goes with everything – be it pasta or bruschetta. It is very diverse and can be used in different recipes.
- In a pan, on medium heat, roast some almonds, pine nuts, and cashews.
- In a blender, add fresh parsley, kale, basil, salt, roasted nuts, and some water. Blend into a thick paste.
- Drizzle with some lemon juice and store it in the fridge using an airtight container.
- This paste is creamy and goes so well with whole-grain pasta.
To be honest, kale can be added to any smoothie without altering its flavor too much, such as peanut butter and banana or a berry smoothie. This one isthe best version of a kale smoothie.
- In a blender, add one medium avocado, a cup of fresh kale, a cup of fresh or canned pineapple juice, matcha powder (optional), and coconut shavings or almonds.
- Blend thoroughly with ice and serve chilled.
Besides these recipes, kale can be added to toast, different salads, pasta sauces, gravies, chili, salsa, tacos as slaw, meats, and other vegetable dishes.
Kale is a green, leafy, and nutritious vegetable. It is a healthful addition to your daily diet and can be used in many ways. Moreover, it can be eaten raw, boil, and sautéed. There are many daily recipes that you can incorporate kale into. Therefore, we encourage you to try out kale and reap its several health benefits.