Did you know that kale is such a nutritional rockstar that it has its own day? Yep, October 7th is National Kale Day! Ok, it’s a bit crazy but hey, everything else seems to have its own “National Day” so why not kale? Kale is really amazing in the nutrition department boasting so many vitamins and antioxidants for your body that it just boggles the mind. Here’s my top 5 good for you facts about kale….
- It is only a mere 33 calories per cup. You can chop it up and add it to your dishes for an almost calorie-free nutritional boost.
- It is loaded with antioxidants. It contains a lot of beta carotene (Vitamin C) which is known to reduce oxidative damage in the body. Oxidative damage is believed to lead to aging and many diseases including Cancer.
- Kale contains substances that bind bile acids to lower cholesterol levels. Steamed kale is particularly effective for this.
- It contains Vitamin K which is crucial for blood clotting. This is good if you’re an accident-prone gal like myself (hello tree-trimming incident this Fall). So, your cuts heal faster without as much blood loss.
- Kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin. People who have diets rich in these two nutrients have a much lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two of the most common eye disorders as we age.
Kale is quite easy to add to your diet. Try chopping it up small and adding it to your salads like the tabouli salad I’m sharing here. It is also great in smoothies, its taste disappears and it adds tons of nutrition.
- ½ cup cooked quinoa or couscous - cook according to package directions
- ½ of an English (seedless) cucumber - diced
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes - diced
- ½ of a red onion - diced
- 1 bunch of curly leaf parsley - chopped (flat leaf parsley works also)
- ½ bunch of kale, stems removed - chopped (see notes below on stem removal)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- To de-stem the kale:
- Fold the kale leaf in half length-wise so that the stem runs along one side. Run your knife right next to the stem to remove it in one piece.
- Cook the quinoa or couscous according to package directions and place on a plate to cool.
- For the dressing:
- place the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until combined.
- For the salad:
- Mix all the remaining ingredients into a bowl along with the cooled quinoa/couscous.
- Add the dressing and toss it with the salad to combine.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
So you go kale…..I’m polishing your crown as we speak.