Here is a simple change we can all make in our daily life; eat kale!
The benefits of kale are well known and touted by many. Kale is high in Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and rich in calcium. Kale can be used in salads, smoothies, soups, and baked into chips.
In addition, kale freezes well. So if you have kale and you aren’t going to use it in time, freeze it before it gets that bitter taste. Fresh kale will typically hold for about 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Once it’s been frozen it isn’t as easy to bake into chips, but can still be used in soups and smoothies . If you’re still buying iceberg lettuce, don’t buy it again. Iceberg lettuce has very small amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, whereas, kale has much higher amounts of both vitamins and also has fiber and protein. Iceberg lettuce does not have any fiber or protein. Kale can be your new lettuce. If you don’t like the raw taste of kale, put it in smoothies, it works well with strawberries and blueberries.
Kale is generally in season in the winter months as it grows in cold climates. However, it may be available most of the year in your area, depending on your local agriculture.
More great benefits of kale:
Kale has been named as a vegetable that has potential to lower cancer risk.
Kale can help to lower cholesterol levels.
Organic vs. Conventional:
When it comes to kale buy organic. The Environmental Working Group listed kale on its 2015 Dirty Dozen PLUS list, stating kale samples, ‘were frequently found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.’
If you can’t afford to buy organic kale then cooking the kale will help to lower pesticide levels.
Kale soup Recipe:
This is a really easy recipe that can be adapted based on personal tastes. I like it with a lot of vinegar and sausage, but any of the ingredients can be modified.
1 15oz can of red kidney beans
1 package of sausage cut into bit size pieces (any kind will do, and any amount depending on preference)
½ cup Pearl barley
3-4 cups of chopped kale
In a large pot combine all ingredients together, except the vinegar. After the kidney beans have been added, use the empty can and add three cans of water to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to maintain a rolling boiling. Cook for 1 hour. When there is approximately 15 minutes remaining add ¼ to ½ cup of white vinegar.
I like to serve this soup with a crusty bread and butter.
“EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.™” 2015 http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php.
Lewis, Alison. “Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Kale.” 2 April 2012. MindBodyGreen. 6 April 2015 http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html