Yes, this is a photo of kale – a kale flower, that is. It’s not what you would often find at your local health food store. But if you were lucky enough to find them, kale flowers are not only absolutely beautiful but they are also edible!
Dark leafy green vegetables are the number one healthy food item missing from most diets. They include kale, collard greens, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach, and one that unexpectedly is also a dark leafy green veggie – broccoli.
These dark leafy green vegetables are packed with vitamins – A,C, and K – along with calcium, magnesium, and zinc. When eaten, they help to boost your immune system, purify your blood, and lift your spirits. All the more reason to go out and stock your fridge with some dark leafy greens!
In this post we are going to talk about kale. It is one of my favorite dark leafy greens, along with swiss chard . I like how both have a bit of crunch in it’s texture. But what I LOVE about kale is that I can make kale chips to replace the regular, oily, greasy potato chips. I know, oh so good but oh so bad for you!!!
Make sure when you buy kale that it is 100% USDA certified organic. This means there are no pesticides, no bioengineering and no radiation on your produce. Make sure to look for the PLU number on the label. It must begin with a 9 to mean that it is certifiably organic (ie. #91658).
I recently bought some organic lacinato kale. As you will find when you go to Trader Joe’s or Fairway Markets or Whole Foods, there are many different kinds of kale. From black kale to dinosaur (yes dinosaur, it’s not a typo)kale to dragon tongue kale, you can take your pick.
Here’s a great healthy recipe from the Recipes for Health section of the New York Times. Try your hand at making it at home – spicy stir-fried tofu with kale and red pepper. It is delish!
You can use kale in your salads by mixing it with romaine lettuce or saute kale with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and some garlic and onions.
Another take on using kale in your diet – in a smoothie! As you all know, I LOVE smoothies. They are a great way to hydrate and to load up with vitamins and minerals quickly for those who are always on the go. Here’s a great recipe for making a kale smoothie with bee pollen from The Holy Kale.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, the most popular way to make kale nowadays is to make kale chips. Just chop up some fresh kale, drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil, and add some celtic sea salt to them and pop in your oven for about 10 minutes. Take them out before the edges turn brown. Voila! You’ve got a healthier snack to replace your oily potato chips! They are ALWAYS a hit at parties because they are so light, crunchy, and tasty. Best of all, your guests will LOVE you because you are feeding them healthy snacks!
So go ahead and buy some organic kale today and be adventurous and try one of the many ways to incorporate kale into your life. Happy kale-ing!