Mmm… kale. A leafy green that’s as delicious as it is nutritious! Check out today’s post by Flexitarian cookbook author and regular guest blogger, Bindu Grandhi, where she touts the benefits of this veggie AND shares a recipe (along with a few other meal ideas)!
Kale, broccoli’s hearty leafier cousin has gained popularity over the years. No longer just a side dish, folks are incorporating kale into dinners (think sautéed kale and garlic), breakfast (think omelet with kale & cheese), lunch (think kale salad) and even dessert (think kale lemon gelato). According to James Parker, a buyer at Whole Foods, “we buy more kale than any of the other related greens combined.”¹
Interestingly, the number of web searches for kale recipes has nearly quadrupled in the past two years according to Google Trends. My family has always been partial to kale so I’m thrilled to hear that it’s catching up in kitchens across America.
Kale packs a variety of nutritional benefits and is easy to cook. A one cup serving of chopped kale contains just 36 calories, loads of vitamin A, C, E and K, along with calcium and fiber. Vitamin K helps blood to clot and builds stronger bones. Kale also contains lutein, zeaxanthin, which have been linked to a reduced risk of certain eye diseases, and other carotenoids associated with anti-cancer benefits.
To find the freshest kale, look for firm, deeply colored leaves with hardy stems – avoid yellow or bruised leaves and limp stems. There are two popular types, curly, which is bright green and tastes a little tart, and dinosaur (also goes by black, lacinato or Tuscan) which is darker with flat leaves and a nutty taste. Try prepackaged baby kale which tends to be more tender and milder in flavor. Opt for organic when available.
Store kale, unwashed, in an air-tight zipped plastic bag or container for up to five days in the refrigerator. When you are ready to use, wash the leaves and blot dry. I find the stems to be tough, so I strip the leaves from the stem before I chop them. Kale can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking kale releases the bitterness but don’t overcook it. To make kale tender you can also steam it for about 5 minutes.
On your next trip to the grocery store, toss kale into your cart to reap all these health benefits, not to mention delicious flavor. Try this kale and yogurt salad – perfect to beat the summer heat while enriching your health!
¹Consumer Reports on Health, July 2013, p. 10
Kale and Yogurt SaladPrint This
- 4 cups finely chopped raw kale (preferably dinosaur kale)
- 1 & 1/2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 jalapeno, finely minced
- ½ tsp. salt or salt to taste
Place kale in a medium bowl. Add all the ingredients and toss until well mixed. Serve chilled.
About the Author
Author of Spice Up Your Life, Bindu Grandhi is passionate about healthy and flavourful cooking, especially when it’s flexitarian. She shares her health knowledge with the world by providing practical, healthy and tasty recipes as The Flex Cook.