By Aly Simons
For the month of April, our health challenge is to focus on All Things Green. Therefore, for the next two weeks, we are going to focus on eating more of one particular leafy green, kale.
Kale is a green or purple leafed vegetable known for its taste and health benefits. Kale is becoming increasingly popular for a good reason. Often referred to as a super food, kale has detox properties, aids digestion and shows anti-cancer benefits.
Just a little fun fact from Dark Rye
One cup of kale has just 33 calories but packs nearly 700 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin K, more than 200 percent of vitamin A and 134 percent of vitamin C. Plus it’s got so much iron that some are calling it the “new beef.”
There are lots of ways to incorporate kale into your diet this week.
Pretty simple. Just add a couple of raw stems of kale into your fruit or veggie smoothie. This is great for kids if you are trying to hide the veggie taste but reap the benefits of the nutritional value.
If you juice, wash the kale and remove the hard stem before sticking the kale into the juicer. You can find kale juicing recipes on the website Raw Juice Cleanser Recipes.
Kale salads can turn out wonderful – or taste like you are gnawing on tough grass. Luckily, Beth Blackwelder from our Be Better team in Dana Point, California, has provided an amazing recipe for a Raw Kale Salad with Lentils and Sweet Apricot Vinaigrette
Enjoy another recipe from Beth Blackwelder. This one is Kale, Bean, and Sausage Soup.
Sautéed kale is a great side dish. Here is a sauté kale recipe. http://www.food.com/recipe/my-favorite-sauteed-kale-364252
Try out the popular kale chips, which you bake in the oven. We found a yummy Spicy Kale Chips by Hip Moms Go Green.
So why is kale our chosen green veggie this week? Check out the nutritional facts:
Detox: Kale helps with the detox process by cleansing and removing toxins, which helps brain function.
Digestion: Kale is full of fiber, which helps with digestion and also curbs overeating.
Anti-Cancer Benefits: Kale is packed with antioxidants that fight colon, bladder, ovary, breast and prostate cancer.
Anti-inflammatory: Kale also has omega-3’s and Vitamin K, which help with inflammation.
Cell Formation: Kale has iron, which helps with formation of enzymes and cells.
Cardiovascular properties: Kale lowers cholesterol, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disorders and heart disease.
Calcium Absorption: Kale is packed with calcium.
More on the health benefits
Thank you Beth Blackwelder from of Be Better Team located in Dana Point, California for providing Kale recipes this week.
Little more about Beth: Growing up in the Imperial Valley of California in the 1970’s I became interested in cooking and baking as a teenager. I was particularly drawn to the healthy recipes using the farm fresh produce and meats locally grown. Over the past 30 years, I have continued to be involved with the local food movement: through teaching informal classing and running a successfully catering business. I am a mother of five children and I live in Laguna Niguel with my husband and one of our sons.