Get on the new nutritional bandwagon with kale

A lot of people have been jumping on the bandwagon of kale chips lately. And for good reason. As a dark, leafy cruciferous vegetable, kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.

A lot of people have been jumping on the bandwagon of kale chips lately. And for good reason.

As a dark, leafy cruciferous vegetable, kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.

According to Dr. Oz, one cup of kale provides 70 per cent of the RDI for vitamin C with only 20 calories.

Not only high in vitamin C, but also considered a great source of vitamin B6 and manganese, as well as carotenes and lutein — both of which help protect the eyes against macular degeneration.

It’s high in chlorophyll and fibre, and the calcium to phosphorus ratio in kale is ideal for building those bones. Kale has also been known to calm inflammation — great for people with diabetes.

Most people I’ve spoken to have thought of it as a nice decoration or garnish on the dinner plate — which makes me laugh.

Too many people have no idea what to do with it!

And the funny thing is, it’s actually quite simple to prepare as either kale chips or a simple salad.

First to select your kale. There are all types to choose from — from dinosaur kale to purple kale to basic green kale, and all delicious.

Try any to start.

I usually just go for the basic green kale. And my favourite is making a simple salad.

Now most people can’t imagine just biting into this roughage — which is fine because that’s not how you should go about eating it.

All you need to do is remove the stems, chop slightly and sprinkle with a teaspoon of sea salt and start massaging.

Might feel a little weird massaging your food at first, but it could also inspire you to go get a massage after — which is also good for you.

After three to five minutes, it will start to get soft and really rich green in colour.

Now it’s ready to dress and eat.

I like to squeeze three-quarter of a lemon, dice up some fresh tomato and avocado and sprinkle with more sea salt.

Then I eat away. But you can flavour as you would like.

If you want to toss with some fresh garlic and herbs and bake in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes, you now have yourself a batch of fresh kale chips — a great healthy snack.

One thing to note about kale is because it is a dark, leafy green it can interact with any blood thinning medications so make sure to talk to your doctor about how much you should consume so as to stay consistent.

Also, because it is part of the cruciferous family, it contains goitrogens, which are naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland if consumed in large amounts.

According to Dr. Michael Murray, cooking helps inactivate this compound.

So, try whipping up your own batch of kale chips or attempt a kale salad.

Basic Kale Salad

1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped

¾-1 lemon, juiced

2-3 tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. spice, (garlic powder, cayenne), your choice, optional

½-3/4 tomato, diced

½-1 avocado, diced

Massage kale in large bowl with sea salt.

Squeeze juice of ¾-1 lemon on kale and add spice and any additional veggies as desired, i.e. avocado, tomato, etc.

Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a registered holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Wednesday. She can be reached at kristin@somethingtochewon.ca.

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