The New It Veggie

By Alia Akkam / September 7, 2011

It’s a low-calorie powerhouse of nutrients
Kale is rich in Vitamin K and helps strengthen bones, says Ashley Koff, RD, the co-author of Mom Energy and is an internationally-renowned registered dietitian and trusted media source. The presence of numerous flavonoids also means kale is rife with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. “Kale’s benefits extend to cancer risk reduction specifically (at least five different types) due to the Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates. These same components are noteworthy for their role in the body’s detoxification process, which may also be how they help reduce cancer risk.” Additionally, Koff notes that kale contains fiber, that especially when it’s steamed, encourages “easy excretion from the body which results in lowering of excess bad cholesterol and aiding cardiovascular health overall.” Koff’s tips on incorporating more kale into your diet: Use it instead of tortillas, add it to fresh-squeezed juices, or “shred it to replace cabbage and make a slaw.”  

It’s easy to cook
“Most cooks probably find kale challenging because they think they have to cook it to death to make up for the fact that it can be a little tough,” notes Andrew Zimmerman, chef at Sepia in Chicago. “Unfortunately this often means that they end up with kale that is gray and mushy, leaving only a bitter murky taste behind.” Instead, Zimmerman loves braised kale, particularly when it still has some texture and “care has been put into the braising medium—rich, full, flavored stock, aromatic vegetables like carrot and onion, and a hint of vinegar just before serving.” At Sepia, Zimmerman also prepares kale by quickly sautéing the leaves and cutting them into a fine chiffonade with garlic olive oil and crushed red chili peppers. “The kale cooks up a vivid green and still has some texture but is tender because it has been cut down so much. Similarly, even raw kale can make a great salad with a simple vinaigrette of lemon and anchovy and a few shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano,” Zimmerman points out.

It’s an ideal snack food
Kick your potato chip habit with all-organic Rhythm Kale Chips. Hand washed and tossed with organic, vegan sauce mixes, the kale is dehydrated overnight at low temperatures so it remains packed with nutrients. Try these raw, crunchy snacks in whimsical flavors like Bombay Curry, Kool Ranch, and Zesty Nacho.

Alia Akkam
Alia Akkam

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