Meet Kale; Your Friend with Benefits…

meet-kaleKale has been getting a lot of hype recently in the health and nutrition world and has earned the nickname “the queen of greens.” Still, many people are unaware of the powers kale can have on the human body; even more people wouldn’t be able to identify it in the supermarket. This green leafy vegetable looks like dark, curly lettuce, and is a member of the Brassica family, which also includes broccoli, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. Kale is a perfect weight-loss super food, with only 36 calories and 0 grams of fat per cup. It is great for detoxification and cleansing the liver because it’s filled with fiber and sulfur. Kale is also packed with Vitamins A and C; A which keeps the eyes healthy, and C, which hydrates the body and speeds up the metabolism. Kale also has powerful antioxidants, including flavonoids and carotenoids, which aid in the prevention of certain cancers.

I actually discovered kale when the host of a show on the Food Network was demonstrating how to make a healthy and delicious snack, which turned out to be kale chips. As a certified health nut, I felt this would be a perfect alternative to store bought snacks, and they looked super easy to make. I tried the recipe out in my kitchen, and I was hooked – so was my family. I later learned about the versatility of kale and how to incorporate it into other meals. I eat salads frequently but sometimes get bored with romaine or just want a second type of lettuce. Kale is an excellent salad ingredient because it’s healthier than most lettuces and adds a bit of crunchiness. Not too long ago I made a salad with kale, quinoa, and beans that was just delicious.

Here is a kale chip recipe that I fell in love with. I think everyone could help themselves just a little bit in the health department by replacing their processed snacks with this nutritious, homemade one.

You’ll need:

2 cups kale

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 lemon (optional)

Preparation:

Set your oven to 275 degrees. Separate the kale leaves from their stems by breaking them off and tearing them into bite-sized pieces. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil and spread the kale pieces out. Drizzle the olive oil over the kale, and then sprinkle the salt. Toss with your hands to coat all of the pieces evenly. For a bit of extra flavor, squeeze some of the lemon juice over the kale and then put into the oven for 12-15 minutes, until the kale is dark and crispy. Pour into a bowl, and enjoy! Makes one serving.

Nutritional info: Calories: 82; fat: 2.25g; carbs: 7 g; protein: 4.5 g; sodium: 340 mg

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source: Fitness Broadway World by Jean Hanks

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Categories: Nutrition

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