Kale really is a superfood
Kale’s been on the menu for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans loved it – not just in their meals but for its medicinal purposes too. So even back then they knew it was a superfood.
Throughout the Middle Ages, it was a staple for many because it was one of the few crops that thrives in the cold. Later on, it was taken to America by European settlers and became a part of North American cuisine too.
Today’s society has become obsessed with kale for its nutritional value and versatility. But it’s worth digging a little deeper to understand just how incredible this leafy plant is.
Why it’s so healthy
There are so many qualities that make kale a true superfood. Just some of the nutritional benefits include:
- Kale is rich in non-haem iron, making it important for vegetarians and vegans.
- It's a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, and that means that it's incredible for liver detoxification, regulating hormones, lowering blood pressure, and aiding with weight loss.
- It’s one of the best sources of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. For that reason it is an amazing immune-strengthening food (and this is why it was valued as a medicinal vegetable to the ancients!).
- Kale has minerals such as calcium and potassium, as well as antioxidants and fibre, so eating it helps you keep balance across a wide range of essential nutrients.
- It’s particularly good for women because it helps support a healthy menstrual cycle and eases menopausal symptoms.
How to use kale
The other awesome thing about kale is that it’s not just good for you. It’s a versatile and delicious vegetable, and that’s why it’s been a staple for so many people for thousands of years!
Firstly, you can do just about anything to kale, and it’ll still taste great. Kale can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, or blended into smoothies. Because it has a hearty texture, it goes great with heavier dishes, including stews, stir-fries, and even as a pizza topping.
It’s also an “all day” kind of food. For breakfast, you can pair it with eggs and that’ll get your day off to a great start. For dinner, you can use it as the base vegetable. And did you know you can turn kale into an amazing snack? Try this quick recipe: Preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C). Tear kale leaves into smaller pieces, remove the stems, and toss them with a bit of olive oil and seasonings of your choice, such as salt, garlic powder, or nutritional yeast. Spread the kale on a baking sheet and bake for around 10-15 minutes until crispy. You’ve got chips!
Some tips to enjoy kale to the maximum
One final awesome thing about kale is that it’s very much a “beginner’s” vegetable. There is no particular magic that you need to weave to get the best value and taste out of it. Just keep these two tips in mind, and you’ll be good to go:
- If you’re eating it raw, massage in either apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, as well as a little olive oil if eating raw. This will make it easier to digest and help bring the nutrients out.
- Don't eat the stem - remove the leaves & compost the stalks, even if you’re cooking it.
And that’s it! Enjoy this amazing superfood!