The Magic of Kale

Kale might not be your favourite leafy green but in this issue Amy Burton delves into why you should add it to your diet and provides a tasty way to eat it too!

Kale… Definitely a veggie on (and in) everyone’s lips at the moment. It has been proclaimed as a Superfood, an anti-cancer food and even a brain repairing Wonderfood, and here’s why:

Background:

Kale has been around for centuries, in fact the Ancient Greek and Romans harvested it for its anti-oxidant rich, cholesterol free leaves. It is a member of the Brassica family and contains a huge amount of your daily required vitamins and nutrients.

These are but a few of the wondrous components of kale:

  • Sulforaphane and Indole-3-carbinol – phytochemicals which fight prostate and colon cancer by metabolizing carcinogens and enhancing DNA repair.
  • ß-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin – These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities.
  • Incredibly rich in Vitamins, which maintains healthy mucosa, skin and vision.
  • Fantastic source of Vitamin K, this vitamin actually promotes bone formation and strength and 100g of kale provides 587% of your daily recommended intake!
  • Kale is also a very rich source of the minerals copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. Sodium and Potassium help to maintain heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.
  • 100 g of fresh Kale leaves contains 200% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C! Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant which protects against free radical activity and infections, and promotes overall immune health.

Recipe: Spiced roast chickpea, kale and rice bowl

This is a delicious bread free meal, which is rich in nutrients, healthy fats, plant protein and anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant rich spices. It will keep you full for many an hour and is simple to prepare with ingredients found in most kitchens.

Ingredients:

Half a can chickpeas

2 pinches of: turmeric; cumin powder; paprika; coriander powder

2 pinches salt

2 pinches chilli flakes (optional)

2 tablespoon coconut/olive oil

1 cup cooked basmati/brown rice

1 big handful of kale (curly or flat) very finely chopped

1 garlic clove chopped

1 tablespoon mixed seeds

1 Tablespoon dried cranberries/raisins

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Pour your chickpeas onto a baking tray and add the spices, salt and oil. Mix with your hands so the chickpeas are well coated in the oil and spices. Place tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until chickpeas are lightly browned and slightly crisp on the outside.

Sauté the kale with the garlic and remaining oil, adding salt to taste, when the kale has wilted, add the seeds, stir and cover for 1-2 minutes until the seeds have been lightly toasted.

Add the rice and chickpeas to the pan and warm on low heat. Pour into a bowl and stir through the cranberries/raisins. Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over the dish and add a small splash of olive oil and salt to taste. For extra protein, top with a soft poached egg or add some avo for a creamier dimension.

Heart-shaped formed by fresh Black Kale

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