Let’s All Hail to King Kale!

My new favorite green vegetable is Kale!!  I know, call me weird…but I just love it.  I know how unbelievably healthy it is and keep buying it!  Some people think kale is just a decorative lettuce…they are so wrong!!  So why is kale so healthy?  Let’s take a look.

Kale is part of the cabbage family.  There are quite a few varieties…but they all have some major health benefits.  If kale is steamed, you can benefit from cholesterol lowering qualities…even more so than raw kale.  Raw kale is fantastic and has also been known to reduce cholesterol but steaming it is even better.  Kale also has risk lowering qualities for cancers of the…bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate.  With over 45 different flavonoids that combine antioxidant and anti inflammatory benefits that make kale a leader in respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

The only concern with Kale is, it is among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can
crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already
existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating
kale.

Here are 2 easy recipes to try:

Baked Kale Chips~All you need is a bunch of kale (just remember that it will shrink upon cooking so make sure you have enough) and any spices you like.  Rinse your kale leaves and cut them into 1-2 inch pieces.  Drizzle olive oil on and sprinkle spices on (I like sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder).  Put on cookie sheet (make sure it is sprayed to keep it from sticking).  Cook at 350 for about 15 minutes.  Voila’….yummy kale chips even your kids will like!!!

Yummy Kale Salad~Rinse and cut up kale leaves (i use 2 bunches).  Add to that 4 tbs olive oil…massage oil into leaves to soften them.  Add 1 whole red pepper, 1-2 handfuls of raisins or cranberries, 1/4- 1/3 cup pine nuts, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and lemon juice.  Toss and enjoy!!!  I had this 3 times this weekend!  The beauty of this is you can throw in anything you like!!   This salad is so pretty, it can be an addition to your holiday meal!!

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