Kale is one of my all time-favorite veggies. Okay, maybe not ‘all-time’, as I really only discovered its existence about 5 years or so…but during that time, it has since taken top position in my veggie repertoire. What I love most about it, is its simplicity and versatility- I adore eating it raw, sauteed, juiced, blended (with other goodies), or baked- plus it is one of the easiest and hardiest veggies to grow in your home garden (I swear this stuff would grow through a snow storm). Above, you can see two varieties of kale that my husband grew in our garden this summer. My personal fav, is called dinosaur kale (it’s the kale with the long and narrow leaves).
Kale has long been known for its Superfood and beauty benefits, so I thought I would give you the low-down in case you needed to brush up on your kale knowledge or were new to the veg altogether. Did you know that kale is one of the of the top sources for plant protein in the world? It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (take that meat!). Kale also has twice the antioxidant benefits of any other leafy green, contains eight times the daily value of vitamin K (helps reduce skin redness), and twice the daily value of vitamin A (wrinkle fighter!) . I can’t forget to mention that it is also super low in calorie and is a good source of Vitamin C, calcium, fiber, and folate :) According to Allison Tannis’ Book, Feed Your Skin, Starve Your Wrinkles, kale does the following helpful things :
… kale helps to stimulate collagen and blood vessel formation, endowing skin with a youthful, firm appearance. Vitamin A also stimulates growth of the base layer of skin cells- which means more beautiful, youthful-looking skin… and helps cells to differentiate, a process in which they mature into strong, wrinkle-resistant cells”
Have I convinced you yet, that you need to start eating this amazing green?!?
If you are having a hard time getting enough raw (you all know raw is best, healthwise) kale into your diet, try this awesome Marinated Kale Salad recipe that my husband concocted (yes, a man created this salad- no lie). The lemon juice and olive oil soften the kale, taking away its unpleasant ‘toughness’ – making this salad, super delicious and nutritious! Even your man, might approve.
For the dressing-
1/2 cup extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup fresh (not the bottled stuff) squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp raw honey
1tps sea salt
1tsp black pepper
For the salad portion-
1 bunch of kale, cleaned and chopped very finely (preferably organic dinosaur kale)
1 1/2 cups strawberries, cleaned and quartered
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup goat’s milk feta, crumbled
Putting It All Together:
- Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over kale only. Massage with clean hands and let it sit, covered with saran wrap, in the fridge, for at least 3 hours (it’s awesome if you can do this overnight, as the kale will be less crunchy)
- Top with berries, nuts, and feta.
- Eat it up- you will love it!
This recipe (as I mentioned above) is great to marinate over night in the fridge- but if you want to make a bunch for a few days, feel free to make the kale mixture in advance and then add the toppings only to a portion of the kale mixture at a time- that way you can save the leftover and the strawberries won’t go soggy.
Let me know what you think, or if you have any other quick and easy kale recipes that I must try :)