For months my Grandmother has been raving about the health benefits of kale. Sure, I’ve been curious to try but it’s thick, rubbery texture always kept me walking on down the produce aisle to the more recognizable spinach. Don’t get me wrong, my Grandma is one of the most knowledgeable health food experts I know – if she recommends it, it is very likely to be something to include in your regular diet. But I sometimes wonder how our taste buds can possibly be related. In this case, Grams, I am sorry I ever doubted you – I’ve gone crazy for kale.
For a green, kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to keep you full for a good amount of time. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A and calcium. Plus, it is one of your best sources of beta-carotene; one of the antioxidants believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease and certain age-related chronic diseases. It may be an unusually rubbery vegetable but all of my research tells me that this is not one to be ignored.
So today was the day, with our noses running, the girls and I were experimenting with kale. We started with a Kale-Apple Smoothie. It was a perfectly chilled, refreshing breakfast drink that made you feel empowered just by drinking. Edie, 3, actually said “yum” after sipping her fluorescent green veggie drink and I felt very good about feeding Alice, 1, hers by the spoonful. We followed that with the Baked Kale Chips Grams has been raving about for weeks. The girls didn’t seem very interested in the whole chip, and I wasn’t going to push my luck after a successful kale-breakfast, so I crumpled a few and mixed them into our leftover spaghetti. They ate it right up. While they enjoyed their hidden nutrients, I indulged in a large bowl of my new favorite snack – I love kale chips!! For something so beneficial to your health it is surprisingly easy to pretend they are a greasy snack to feel guilty about. I will be making these often.
Recipe courtesy Real Simple Feb 2011
Total Prep Time: 5 minutes Serves: 1
Place 3/4 cup chopped kale (ribs and thick stems removed), 1 small stalk celery (chopped), 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup apple juice, 1/2 cup ice 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth and frothy.
The apple juice really comes out as the key flavour in this mix. If you can get past the bright green colour, I think you’ll really enjoy. Per serving: 139 calories; 1g fat; 36mg sodium; 3g protein; 3g fiber; 1mg iron; 79mg calcium.
Grandma’s Baked Kale Chips
“Tasty enough for non-greens-eaters”
- Preheat oven 325° to 350°
- Wash and spin dry kale leaves
- Tear into chunks and discard centre stem
- Rub a flat cookie sheet with olive oil and your choice of seasoning (I kept it simple with kosher salt and pepper)
- Lay kale chunks on oiled sheet, rub around and place in one layer
- Stay near oven and check at 10 to 14 minutes.
- Let cool on pan before placing in bowl. Do not store in plastic if you want crispy chips.
The last crumbs are great on top of salads, pasta and/or popcorn. If I’ve appealed to your curiosities, check out Ways to Cook Kale at The Local Chef.Add to favorites