Chow Town

There’s a lot to like about kale

Updated: 2013-11-19T01:35:56Z

By DONNA COOK

Kale — I just love it.

What is there not to like about it? It is so nutritionally good for you but it really, really taste good too. I hadn’t eaten kale until a few years ago when I was introduced to a kale quinoa salad. Now I’m hooked, anyway shape or form you want to prepare it. Love to make kale chips. They are so easy.

Here are some great facts about kale:

• Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, five grams of fiber and zero grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium.

• Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.

• Kale is high in vitamin K. Eating a diet high in vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

• Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

• Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility.

• Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

As you can see, what is there not to like about kale. Here is the recipe that hooked me.

Kale Salad

1 bunch kale stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons honey

Freshly ground black pepper

Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons

1 cup of cooked quinoa

Handful of dried cranberries

In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes. Pour the dressing over the kale and add the pepitas. Toss and serve.

I have started adding other items to it, such as orange sections and strawberries. Enjoy.

Donna Cook is the owner of Rabbit Creek Gourmet Foods in Louisburg, Kan. She is also a Master Gardener, Master Food Volunteer and on the board of directors of the Home Baking Association.

 

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