Super Food 3: Kale
Kale (pronounced cail) is one gluten free vegetable that is full of nutritional benefits and is so much more versatile than your ordinary cabbage. It can be toasted, steamed or juiced.
Although this ancient plant has been around for centuries, it seems to be rapidly gaining popularity as a superfood due to its high nutritional content.
So what makes kale such a superfood?
5 Facts about Kale you Didn't Know
1. Kale is high in vitamins. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk and 10% more vitamin C than spinach. And as any coeliac or lactose intolerant person knows - iron and calcium are often vitamins we are deficient in!
2. It has a long history. Kale was a staple in medieval times and is a member of the Brassica family, which includes cabbage, brussel sprouts and brocolli.
3. Kale has diverse health benefits. It is rich in sulphur phytochemicals which are believed to help protect against certain types of cancer and the phytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to reduce the risk of cataracts and a condition called age related macular degeneration which is the major cause of loss of vision. It is also great for skin and fibre.
4. It comes in different varieties and colours. The most common is the curly kale (shown in the photographs here) but you can also get purple coloured kale too.
5. It's still relatively uncommon (despite it's long history). You're unlikely to find kale in your supermarket in New Zealand or Australia, but it is making an appearance at markets and in fruit and vegetable stores.
Here is a delicious recipe to serve as a side dish to accompany a main meal or it can be used as a healthy chip-like snack!
Toasted Kale Salad
Serves: 4 Prep and Cook Time: 20 mins
Here's what you'll need...
- 60ml or 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp tamari or gluten free soya sauce
- 3 cups of kale, ribs and stems removed and chopped into small pieces (this is important to ensure a crunchy rather than chewy texture)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
And here's how to make it ...
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Whisk together oils and tamari/gluten free soya sauce in a large bowl.
- Add the coconut and kale. Toss to combine.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread out the mixture on the baking tray in a single layer - try to leave a bit of space between the kale to ensure it is toasted evenly.
- Bake for 12 -15 minutes turning halfway through until the kale is crisp and crunchy.
Adapted from Scott and Luke's recipe on My Kitchen Rules
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