An Old World vegetable that has soared in popularity in recent times – Is there anything kale can’t do ?
What is Kale ?
Kale is a dark –green , leafy vegetable that has a mild cabbage flavor , suggesting that is comes from the family of health-promoting cruciferous vegetables . Kale comes in several varieties , including curly kale , Tuscan kale ( known also as “dinosaur kale” ) , and the red Russian kale .
What is it good for ?
The studies showed that kale has antioxidant , anti-inflammatory , anticancer , and cholesterol-lowering properties . For example , a study on Chinese women revealed that those who ate cruciferous vegetables daily , had a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer !
Another research on European women found that eating just one weekly meal with cruciferous vegetables was linked to a 17 percent reduced risk of breast cancer . And breast cancer survivors who regularly enjoy kale and its cousin vegetables ( such as broccoli , cauliflower , watercress , arugula and radish ) are known to have lower risk of cancer recurrence .
Kale is packed with nutrients among which : vitamins A , K , C and B6 ; folate ; dietary fiber ; omega 3 fatty acids ; lutein and zeaxanthin ; as well as minerals such as calcium , magnesium , copper , manganese , and a very high content of Iron . Vegetables from the cruciferous family are high in protein as well in fiber and they constitute our primary dietary source of sulfur-containing phytochemicals ( the phytonutrients ) which powerfully stimulate the liver’s detox mechanism .
Other important benefits include :
- due to it low carb and low calorie content , the role as weight loss aid
- role in keeping the skin healthy and strong ,
- important metabolism and immunity booster ,
- protective against macular degeneration ,
How to be used ?
- In order to get the maximum benefit from kale , it’s better to chop , chew , blend , or juice it . Be sure to include in the diet some raw or only light steamed kale .
- Kale’s bitter taste can be toned down by the addition of extra virgin olive oil .
- Use kale raw in smoothies and to make pesto and salads ( for salads remove the ribs first , cut strips , and massage to soften )
- Bake kale chips with extra virgin olive oil
- Steam kale , and add it to burritos and risottos
- Sauté kale , and stir into cooked beans
- Stir-fry kale with other vegetables
Kale also freezes very well , resulting in a sweeter taste when it thaws . Simply chop leftovers into one-inch ribbons and place them in the freezer and they make a perfect add to soups .