The Truth About Kale and What to Do with It
Chances are good you've seen kale in the grocery store but had no idea what to do with it other than toss it into a salad. If that's the case, then there's a lot more about kale that you need to know!
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. It belongs to the Brassica family which includes cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
What makes kale so wonderful? It's simple. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. One cup of kale contains roughly 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. Kale is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are also linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds. In addition to the antioxidants, the fiber content of 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.
So now that you know how good kale is for you, what can you make with it? My favorite way to eat kale is by sautéing it.
- 1 1/2 pounds kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.