Last week I bought a giant bag of THIS
Glorious, glorious green kale. I have fallen in love with this veggie. It's the prettiest lettuce I've ever seen and it also happens to have some of the most stellar nutrients known to man.
Allow me to share some of the benefits of this green leaf.
Why we love Kale
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable (belonging to the cabbage family), a group of vegetables with some of the highest cancer fighting properties.
The nutrient richness in kale is best noted in three areas.
1. Anti-inflammatory benefits
Kale has a terrific amount of omega 3 fatty acid, in particular alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. ALA is fatty acid that is similar to the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil. ALA fatty acids been shown to reduce inflammation and may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis and many others.
In combination with a few other omega 3 sources (flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, perilla seed oil, tofu, walnuts, and walnut oil), adding kale to your fridge will give your body some serious fatty acid power!
2. Antioxidant and Cancer-Preventive Benefits
This is where the really good stuff comes in with kale! Kale has an unusual concentration of two types of antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids. Here's the skinny on antioxidants: Without sufficient intake of antioxidants, our oxygen metabolism can become compromised and we can experience something called "oxidative stress."
Kale directly raises the level of carotenoid antioxidants (specifically beta carotein and luein) in our body, which are key players in the protection of our body from oxidative stress. AKA: cancer fighting properties!
Flavonoids, also found in high amounts in kale, are an amazing array of over 6,000 different substances found in virtually all plants and are what give plants their dazzling shades of colors. Similar to carotenoid, flavonoids provide the body with stellar antioxidant fighting power and protection.
So, the gist is this: kale has two of the best players we have found in nature to fight illness: carotenoids and flavonoids. One of the many things you have the CHOICE and FREEDOM to put in your body that freely fight against illness.
3. Cardiovascular Support
Ahhh…what greens are intended to do! Support our cardiovascular system. With the high fiber, nutrient and vitamin content, kale directly aids our cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol and lends a hand to our intestine during digestion and nutrient assimilation. Check this out: when you compare the efficiency of kale in our body against a prescribed cholesterol lowering medication, kale delivers better performance! Oh yeah baby!
Okay, so there's a bit of info on kale for ya. Now let's talk recipes.
With a 5 lb bag of kale in my fridge I knew I needed to get creative! So here is what I made:
Simple Avocado + Kale Salad
- handfuls of kale
- 1/2 avocado
- Tahini dressing- recipe below
1. Fill salad bowl with your gorgeous kale greens. Mix dressing and pour on top of leaves.
2. Time to "massage" the kale- a quick process that helps mix the dressing throughout and soften the kale leaves just a bit. Trust me it's delicious. To massage, take your beautiful hands and work the dressing over the leaves. You will notice your kale soften just a tad and the dressing mixes with ease.
3. Add avocado on top and enjoy!
Of course this salad can be jazzed up even more depending on your taste: tomatoes, sliced bell pepper, beans of choice, some shredded cheese or nutritional yeast. You name it, it will taste great!
- 1 tbsp tahini butter
- 1+ tbsp soy sauce
- splash of water
Mix these three ingredients and enjoy!
Maple Bean Kale Saute
I had all intentions on making homemade baked beans this week.
But it didn't happen.
But I still wanted to mix my kale with maple baked beans! It just sounded so tasty!
So I improvised.
Serves 2 large portions
- 1/4 onion minced
- 1 can maple flavored baked beans, not drained (I used Trader Joes!)
- 3 large handfuls of kale
1. Saute onion in skillet for 5 minutes to soften.
2. Add full can of baked beans and kale to skillet. Stir frequently to mix kale with onion and bean.
3. Heat thoroughly. Enjoy!
Easy? Yep. Simple? Uh huh. Tasty as ever I almost ate the whole thing myself? You bet!
This final recipe I have made before and shared with you before back HERE.
These were too good not to make again!
So go get ya some!
Have a fabulous day!
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