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Mighty kale and all of it’s glory

Photo Credit: WebMD.com

Photo Credit: WebMD.com

Ok, it’s been out there for awhile that kale is no ordinary green. Particularly in Vancouver, it draws a LOT of attention because not only is it delicious and versatile, but it grows throughout the winter months which is pretty cool when you’ve got weather like ours.

So what is special about kale other than the taste? It is the epitome of a superfood! Here are some quick facts (from WebMD) about kale’s nutritional content:

-One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

-Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

-Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

-Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

If you have seen this green in the market but have shied away from it because you have absolutely no clue what to do with it, here are some super tasty recipes that incorporate all the might of kale:

This light yet fulfilling salad: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/01/spicy-peanut-ginger-kale-salad.html

This refreshing smoothie (get ON that green drink bandwagon, they rock): http://www.wholeliving.com/185519/kale-pineapple-and-almond-milk-smoothie

This tasty side to an Indian feast: http://www.holycowvegan.net/2009/03/kale-subzi.html

These chips that you have nothing to feel guilty about (seriously, if you try any of these recipes, give this one a try first): http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2010/07/totally-addictive-kale-crisps-2/

Or, if you are like me, you can always massage some raw chopped kale with ginger-garlic-miso dressing and throw in any other favorable salad topping. Sauteed tofu or pumpkin seeds are always a tasty addition.

For more health info on kale, check out WebMD’s page on it.