All Hail Kale

As one of the most prominent leafy vegetables in Europe, kale is a wondrous food with a plethora of beneficial qualities. Despite its amazing health benefits and international allure, kale still remains largely under the radar in North America. As a super raw food that is fairly inexpensive and easy to source, there is no reason why we all should not be cooking with this leafy green more often.

Kale is in the cabbage family and comes in green or purple headless leaves. Other colour variations may consist of whites, yellows, blues and reds. The vegetable has a mild earthy flavor and can become even more pronounced after being frozen or exposed to frost. The plant also grows very well in wintry and harsh climates making it very versatile as far as cultivation is concerned. Vegetables in the same family as kale are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, rapini, collard greens and brussel sprouts. Kale is viewed as a superfood with many healing qualities. One interesting characteristic about kale is that you can harvest the outer leaves as you need them without harming the plant or the future growth of more inner leaves. Kale is very simple to grow and is a great addition to any vegetable patch. The tender young kale leaves are best for salads while the mature leaves are best for cooking. The best way to prepare kale is to steam, stir-fry or eat it raw.

Kale stands out as a power vegetable because of the incredible amount of nutrition packed into each curly dark green leaf. Kale is a great raw food as it is high in fiber, rich in beta carotene, vitamins A, C, E, and K, lutein, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium as well as other important nutrients. It is these facets of kale that are known to prevent and fight against such medical issues as cancer, cataracts, emphysema and rheumatoid arthritis. A regular serving of kale is 1 cup and contains 40-60 calories, making it a great weight loss aid. Due to the overwhelming amount of antioxidants, compounds, minerals and nutrients, kale is also successful in preventing colds, improving skin tone and augmenting energy levels.

Kale is an excellent food to add to your diet. Recipes are rarely complicated and the food is so flexible it can be used in smoothies, soups, salads and even as a part of a main dish. Eating kale raw will only increase its potential in aiding a healthy body. Wash your kale leaves well. The curls in the leaf tend to hid dirt, sand and maybe some bugs.

Try these kale recipes to get you started working with kale in your kitchen:

Kale Smoothie

2 cups water
4 bananas
3 yellow mangoes
1 cup of raspberries
1 cup of red grapes
6-8 kale leafs
A few mint leafs

BLEND ingredients well.

Kale Soup

1 Bunch of Kale leaves
¼ Avocado
¼ Lemon (peeled)
1 Roma Tomato
2 Cloves Garlic
2 cups water (lukewarm)
A sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Salt, Pepper and Onion Power to taste

BLEND all the ingredients in the warm water to get your desired consistency.

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