The Truth Behind Kale

I don’t think I can get through an entire day without eating kale. Seriously. I am addicted. Sarah and I love kale so much that for Hanukkah, our mom, Rachel, gave us matching shirts that read, “EAT MORE KALE.” Even though we get the occasional stares and the even more occasional, “But I don’t even LIKE kale!!!” we cannot help our love for this delicious, nutritious, and versatile super food.

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Some kale fun facts:

1)    Kale can lower your cholesterol.

2)    Kale can lower your risk of cancer.

3)    Kale provides an awesome detoxification. It gets rid of nasty toxins in your body, from whether you are sick, stressed, or just in the mood for a pick-me-up. Kale’s there for you!

4)    Kale has many different vitamins and minerals, like vitamin K, calcium, potassium, iron, and protein. It also has antioxidants. What more could you want?!

5)    Kale has anti-inflammatory benefits. So basically it can heal all your pains and worries and answers life’s biggest questions (or maybe not…)

6)    Kale helps your body  work smoothly and efficiently.

7)    Kale is naturally low in calories, so you can eat a whole ton of it and still feel light and awesome and healthy and happy!

8)    Kale tastes awesome! And its groovy green color is pretty awesome too.

While this may seem like a laundry list of broad generalizations, kale really knows what’s up. Even though our dad, Steve, refuses to try anything with kale in it, everyone for whom we have made kale treats have just gobbled them right up!

I can come up with dozens and dozens more ways to eat kale, so comment if you all would be interested in some more kale delicacies. Or, comment with your favorite ways to eat kale! I wanted to create a kale-centered post because it takes up a large percentage of my diet, but it is a fairly daunting task to tackle the many different kale possibilities.

My go-to kale meal is a KALE SALAD! I make kale salads whenever I want something quick, healthy, and light. There are so many different variations for these salads. In my salads, I normally include a few elements from each of the following food “categories,” depending on what I am in the mood for and what I have on hand. I never get tired of kale salads, because each one that I make is slightly different, and they can easily be altered to match your mood or cravings.

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Veggies (some of these technically don’t count as veggies, but you know…):

Cucumber

Tomato

Artichoke hearts

Bell peppers

Carrots

Celery

Avocado

Fruit:

Apple

Strawberries

Blueberries

Dried cherries

Craisins

Starch:

Couscous (Israeli or typical)

Quinoa

Barley

Farro

Protein/Other

Cheese (fresh mozzarella, or sometimes a sharp aged cheese)

Hummus

Nuts/seeds

Beans

Leftover tofu

To dress the salad, I always use salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, and a flavorful oil (such as extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil). A tip for dressing all of your salads: put the greens in a large bowl, salt and pepper the greens first, then add the vinegar and toss lightly. Add the oil last! Because oil and vinegar do not combine, adding the vinegar first allows it to stick easily to the greens, and the oil acts as a coat to secure the flavor. While many people prefer ½ and ½ vinegar and oil, I prefer to add about 2 parts vinegar per part oil. It is difficult to discern what you will prefer, so first start out with a little bit of each part, then add more if necessary. Taste as you go!DSC_0717

While this is not super helpful or specific, you cannot go wrong with any of these combinations. Let us know if there are any combinations or fun salad additions that you have fallen in love with!

Another way I love to use kale is to add them to my sandwiches! A favorite sandwich is toasted torta bread, pesto, fresh mozzerella, kale, and avocado.

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Stay tuned for my next favorite way to eat kale! Hint: it’s a smoothie and it tastes like ice cream…..

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