Dark. Green. Leafy. Chock full of nothing but good, good, good and gooooooood. Kale is always there for you in time of nutritional need. Kale is a vegetable that has recently gained widespread attention for its phytonutrients. In case you don’t know what phytonutrients are, don’t worry. I’m about to write a blogpost on that very subject soon. 🙂
Why do i love Kale? Vitamin K, A, C, manganese, fiber..only a few of the reasons. The main reason i love kale is because it is FULL of calcium. Full of it! 1 cup has 10% of your daily value. But remember – its all about absorption. It means nothing if it can’t be absorbed! The absorption of calcium in kale is considerably higher than that of spinach. Why? Spinach is high in oxalates. The oxalate content in spinach binds with the calcium and decreases the absorption! “By way of comparison, the body can absorb about half of the calcium present in broccoli, yet only around 5% of the calcium in spinach.” (Wikipedia)
It appears that the calcium absorption in kale may be even greater than that of milk. See the following article for a scientific study: Calcium absorption from kale.
Aside from the phytonutrients that help prevent all sorts of cancers and cataract problems, kale is full of Vitamin K, A, C, manganese, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, potassium, iron, amongst others. Its low in calories – about 40 calories a cup. You can find more detailed information about kale’s nutritional facts here: Nutritional Facts
That being said, kale is now my new favorite green veggie. And its quite versatile. i’ve done the following things with kale so far:
- Mixed it into a veggie chili (towards the end, i don’t like overcooking the kale)
- Mixed it into a whole wheat pasta with other veggies such as onions, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms
- Steam it with garlic, olive oil
- Put it in salads…forget romaine and iceberg, this is the way to go!
- Mix it with lentils to make veggie lentil soup
- Last but not least, kale with peanut sauce: i know it sounds ridiculous but this is my favorite. I’ll post the recipe for peanut sauce soon!
- Buy kale that is CRISP, moist, and fresh green. Bigger leaves are better for soups.
- Store kale in plastic bags – kale becomes more intensely flavored the longer it is kept so eat it asap 🙂
- Wash your kale properly to get rid of any dirt.
- Kale does not shrink as much as spinach and other greens since it has a low moisture content. It requires a little more cooking time because of this. Smaller, younger looking kale leaves are better in salads – the bigger tougher leaves should be cooked a bit more.
BTW…i am dying to try this recipe. if i do, i promise I will post a review about it….