The Ultimate Green: Kale

I never thought I would like this green because it comes from the cabbage, or Brassica family, which always seemed to be a bit sour tasting to me.  A few months back I was convinced I needed to have this green in my diet because it packs such a powerful antioxidant punch, so I meandered over to the massive greens section in my store and purchased my first bunch of kale.

***Although I do prefer to buy it in a bunch, sometimes when I know I have a busy week ahead and won’t have time to chop it up myself, I buy it pre-chopped in a bag.

Kale, like many greens, are an incredible source of a multitude of nutrients.  One cup of Kale only has 36.4 calories and can provide you with 192.4% of your daily value of vitamin A (which has beta carotene for vision improvement and cancer protection qualities,) 88.8% of your daily value of vitamin C (for immune support and anti-inflammatory properties,) and a whopping 1328% of your daily value of vitamin K (helps with calcium absorption, helps bone density.)

As if that weren’t enough of a reason to eat this lettuce-like veggie, it also has a high amount of fiber, calcium, and phytonutrients.  We should be consuming at least 25 grams of fiber a day, but the average American only consumes 10-12%.  Get over 10% of your daily value of fiber in 1 Cup!  Calcium, something we all need for bone health, has 9.4% of your daily value in 1 Cup without the high calories and allergen/intolerance issues of dairy.

Phytonutrients are something most people do not know a lot about, but are extremely vital for good health.   In Kale, these phytonutrients exist and help support the detoxification of our cells, which can help protect us against harmful free radicals and the diseases they can cause.

I knew it was healthy, but I did not know how to make kale just yet!  I researched recipes and tried all these fancy creations, but my favorite wound up being something super easy and quick one of my own design.

Ashley’s Baked Kale

Ingredients:

  1. 3 Cups of Kale, chopped
  2. 2 Tablespoons Shallots, chopped & sauteed
  3. 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  4. Sea Salt

Cooking Instructions: 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In a small pan, heat 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil and chopped shallots over medium heat-saute until lightly browned (about 2 minutes)
  • Layout the kale evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, spread the shallots evenly over the kale, and add a pinch of sea salt
  • Bake in the oven until kale appears lightly browned (about 8 minutes)
NutritionAshley Pettit