Kale has become quite the popular vegetable these days and I have been experimenting with it for some time. I haven’t written about it because, to be honest, every time I made it, I couldn’t get myself to like it. Until now. I found this vegetable to be very tough to eat and bitter for my taste. However, I recently made kale chips and fell in love with them.
Kale is a part of the Brassica family which is also the family to broccoli, cabbage, collards, brussel sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables. It comes in three different types: curly, ornamental and dinosaur (or Tuscan). Curly kale is a dark green and has a bitter and peppery taste. Ornamental kale comes in green, purple or white leaves and has a mellow flavor. Dinosaur has dark blue-green leaves and is slightly sweeter than the other varieties.
Although the best way to cook kale is by steaming (it enhances and preserves the most nutrients), I made these dinosaur kale chips by oven roasting them…
|Get fresh kale and separate the leaves from the thick center stem|
|Place in a bowl and soak in cool water for 5 minutes|
|I decided to roast some mushrooms at the same time|
- I failed to take pictures here but next, toss the kale with olive oil, salt, pepper and any other spices you wish you use. Toss until all leaves are fully coated.
- Spread on a roasted dish and roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, flipping every 10-15 minutes
- At the end, they should have shrunk a little and become crisp and delicious!
- One cup of cooked kale contains 36 calories, 3 grams of fiber (10%DV), 2.5 grams of protein and 10% of the daily requirement of calcium, 27% of manganese, 354% of vitamin A, 89% of vitamin C, and 1328% of vitamin K.
- The nutrients that make kale stand out are the antioxidant nutrients, the anti-inflammatory nutrients and the anti-cancer nutrients.
- It has one of the highest contents of beta-carotene, the antioxidant most key in fighting cancer and other diseases. Research has shown direct positive benefits of cruciferous vegetables on bladder cancer, breast cancer, color cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.
- The high content of cartenoids lutein and zeaxathin help protect your eyes
- Kale is high in Vitamin K, which has been shown to moderate our body’s inflammatory processes. One cup of cooked kale provides 1328% of our % daily value
- Kale helps in our body’s detoxification process. The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from kale’s glucosinolates have been shown to help regulate detox activities.
I will admit, I finished the entire batch that I made in one night. The next time I made it, I made a lot more kale and saved some in ziploc bags. This is such a money saver. I bought the entire bag of kale (far right bag pictured below) for $1.99 and made enough kale chips for over a week. At the store, kale chips are selling for $6-8 dollars for a TWO ounce bag.
|went a little “green happy” at the store|
What to look for when buying kale:
- Dark green leaves with moist stems
- Fresh looking leaves (not wilted, discolored or holed)
- The smaller the leaves, the more tender it will be
How to cook kale:
- Once the kale is chopped, let it sit for 5 minutes to get the most health benefits
- Like mentioned above, the best way to preserve the nutrients is by steaming for about 5 minutes
- You can throw this is pastas, eggs, lasagnas, or eat raw as a salad. It is very versatile like spinach :) As I develop more of a taste for kale, I will try to incorporate it into other dishes. Try it out!