You probably already know that leafy greens, including spinach and romaine lettuce, pack a huge nutritional punch. Have you ventured into trying kale? The best way to eat kale is . . . often!
When I first bought a bunch of the curly, rigid greens, I was intimidated. It seemed too stiff to use in a salad and too bitter to eat raw. I started experimenting, looking for recipes, and getting a little adventurous.
Now kale has a permanent spot on my weekly grocery list. According to University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service there are a large number of reasons to incorporate this food into your diet:
- Kale contains significant amounts of vitamins A, C, K, and B6.
- Kale is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which promote eye health
- Kale is a source of potassium, calcium, iron, and manganese
A “Souper” Addition
During these chilly winter months, make wholesome, homemade soups to stay warm and healthy. From spicy lentil and chili to wild mushroom with rice and vegetables, pick your favorite flavor and make a batch today. Try adding small, torn chunks of kale. It pairs well with both broth-based soups and creamier varieties, such as potato-cheddar. Toss kale into the mix when the soup is simmering to tenderize the greens.
Start your day with fresh smoothies created from frozen fruits, soy or almond milk, and 100 percent fruit juices. Fruit smoothies add a variety of vitamins to your diet early in the day, and are simple and quick to make when you’re trying to get ready in the morning.
Try add-ins to make smoothies healthier. Measuring a few tablespoons of milled flax seed, a handful of baby spinach, or a cup of torn kale into the blender carafe adds extra nutrients to the breakfast. Although the raw kale adds a slightly green tinge to the drink, it’s still the best way to eat kale for breakfast.
Simple Seasoned Sauté
When dinner time rolls around, consider adding kale as a side dish. Once sautéed, kale pairs well with a roasted chicken breast or as a mix-in for rice and quinoa.
Start by sautéing sliced red onions and garlic in a splash of olive oil in a sauce pan. Once the onions turn opaque, add pieces of kale with the stems removed, turn the heat down low, and place a lid on the pan. This gently steams the kale while infusing the flavors of the garlic and onion into the vegetable.
Baked with Root Vegetables
Kale pairs well with root vegetables including potatoes, onions, turnips, and carrots. Try mixing a few of these vegetables together to create a pan of scalloped potatoes. Add chopped kale leaves and diced onions to the creamy sauce, then bake the vegetables.
Have you tried kale? Tell us about your favorite way to add this leafy superfood to your plate, bowl, or glass in the comments below.
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