Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eat more Kale (and please don't sue me)

Kale has become my new favorite cool weather veggie. It's very versatile like spinach, and I find myself adding it to everything. Kale in my eggs, kale sauteed with garlic, kale in soup, kale in my salad, and even making kale chips. Kale is gaining such popularity that everyone wants to jump on the kale bandwagon. Even Chick-Fil-A is suing a guy who made a shirt that says "Eat More Kale" for copyright infringement on their "Eat Mor Chikin" ad campaign.

The best thing about kale, is that it's really good for you! Here's what has to say about Kale.

Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous 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.

Kale is, however, on the "dirty dozen" list, so I make sure to only buy organic kale. With all the health problems I have, I don't need to add to my problems by eating harmful pesticides as well. My plants have not done very well in my garden this year because bugs have feasted on my poor kale leaves, leaving behind nothing but the tough stems, so I do understand why growers feel the need to heavily spray their plants.

The other night I was looking for a new kale recipe to make for dinner and ran across this recipe. But since I didn't have all the ingredients, I made up my own recipe with things I actually had in my house. It was so yummy and I'm eating some leftovers for lunch as I type this. If you have never cut a butternut squash, here is a good tutorial.

Kale and Butternut Squash Soup-Stew


2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 organic yellow onions, diced
5 cloves organic garlic, minced
1 small organic butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 quart organic low sodium beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can Muir Glen Fire Roasted diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 bunch organic kale, stems removed, chopped
1 pound cubed cooked ham
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Cook onion until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add diced pumpkin and cook for another 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 90 seconds, stirring often so it does not burn. Stir in the beef broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to a simmer until the squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

After vegetables are softened, add the kale and the ham; simmer for another 5 minutes until the ham is heated completely. Season to taste.

No comments:

Post a Comment