Crazy for Kale

Photo by Lawrence Boxall, CODA Print Communications

Of all the leafy greens, Kale deserves a capital K. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin K can reduce your risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by up to forty-five percent. The naturally occurring phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indoles may also protect against cancer.

Kale belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables including cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts. Besides K, kale is also rich in vitamins A, C and antioxidant fighting E. It is plum full of calcium and iron, has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein. It also contains the much-needed fiber so lacking in the daily diet of processed food eating North Americans.

Never prepared it before? Here’s how you do it. Wash the kale well, then pull the leaves off the thick stems into pieces. Kale Potato soup is a classic way to use the green superfood. I use the recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen. Or you can steam the leaves for a few minutes and toss with (olive) oil and balsamic vinegar. But kale chips are the new craze.

Kale Chips

Preheat oven to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use about one salad spinner’s worth of kale. Spread washed, bite size pieces of kale out on cookie sheets. Drizzle with about two teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt or seasonings of choice. I hear paprika is nice. For a cheesy version, try Parmesan or Asiago on top. Bake for about fifteen minutes, until edges are brown and crispy. Enjoy and raise a glass to kale!

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