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I love kale. Love, love, love kale. In fact if I’d had a son in addition to my three beautiful daughters, I’m pretty sure his name may have been Kale. Kale Michael – wonderful name. At this point in the game, however, I’ll just file it away for a future cat.
We’ve already determined on the food blog that I’m a salad junkie, so it won’t come as a great surprise when I tell you that I add kale to salads on the regular. Not only does it taste fantastic, it looks gorgeous when chopped into ribbons AND it ups the salads nutritional value. More about that in a minute.
Soups and stews are other favorite kale destinations. Be sure to throw it in as late as possible to keep it more green than gray. Then again, there’s also the yummy and strangely addictive “Kale Chips” – in fact, I’d love a big plate of them right about now.
When it comes to breakfast or brunch, anyone and everyone knows that kale makes a great smoothie ingredient. I have to admit, for green smoothies, I actually prefer spinach BUT kale is perfectly delicious too.
My favorite way to enjoy kale for breakfast, however, is like so…
- Fry an egg (Sunny Side Up or Over-Easy) in a little butter and olive oil – then, after the egg begins to slightly set, add in some torn kale. Spinach is also great like this, but this is Kale’s spotlight and Popeye’s favorite has already intruded once as it is.
- Add a little sea salt to the kale and YUM. The combo of egg and kale is phenomenal.
Health Benefits of Kale
Kale is low in calories, so it’s a great way to “bulk up” a salad (or omelet, stew, smoothie…) without adding substantial calories – and without adding any extra fat. With only 36 calories in a cup of kale, it’s just a really great way to add fiber without a lot of calories.
Kale is high in both iron and Vitamin K. In fact, per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Eating diets high in Vitamin K can help protect you against various cancers – yet most of us aren’t getting enough K in our diets. Kale’s a great way to take care of that oversight. Kale also has antioxidants, which also protect against various diseases (including cancer).
Just one cup of kale boasts 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids. These guys are known for protecting us against arthritis, asthma and a whole slew of other diseases.
- Kale is known to help lower your cholesterol, which can lower your chances of heart disease.
- Kale is high in Vitamin C. Kale is higher in vitamin C than most vegetables. It actually has about 4.5 times as much Vitamin C as spinach. Sorry, Popeye.
- It’s high in Vitamin A.
- It’s a fairly good source of magnesium, a mineral most of us don’t get enough of. Given that getting plenty of magnesium can protect against type 2 diabetes and heart disease, we should all make sure we get magnesium from as many food sources as possible. High magnesium foods include dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate – which are all out of this world delicious, so upping our magnesium should be easy and enjoyable.
- Kale is even high in calcium – per calorie, higher even than milk.
Click here to read more about Kale and it’s many health benefits from Dr. Axe.