Kale Yea!

The story of a weird green vegetable that seems to be getting a lot of play.

KalePhoto

Are you tired of hearing about kale this and kale that? Kale is so good for you… Eat more kale… Blah blah blah. Then you probably won’t want to read this post. See you later! Come back next month! Now, for stalwart kale fans, lovers of weird green vegetables, and fence-sitters alike, I present the goods.

Kale is in season right now. I have little tiny kale babies coming up in my garden. They’re not quite ready to eat, but I’m sure someone’s are. You could probably find some locally grown kale at your health food store. There are a couple different types that you might find there; red curly, green curly, red Russian, and lacinato or dinosaur. They are all equally delicious and beautiful to behold… So beautiful, in fact, that kale some times used in ornamental gardens. Funnily enough, kale really likes to have it’s ends cut and get stuck a jar of water. Lovely on the counter or table, but prefers this treatment in the fridge.

Yes, it makes a stunning center-piece, but what is kale about really? Gym rats, hippies, and even some doctors are talking an awful lot about this stuff. Let’s find out why.

Kale, just like last month’s star, broccoli, is packed full of chlorophyll. As you may have gathered, this is what gives it such a brilliant green hue. This is the first thing I think when I see a green vegetable: CHLOROPHYLL. Kind of cool since [most] fresh vegetables don’t have nutrition facts printed on them. When we go into the store and we’re looking for something that will help our bodies to detox and create a ton of energy at the same time, all we have to do is pop in to the produce section and find a green vegetable… like kale. Since it is green, we know it has chlorophyll and we know that chlorophyll is going to help us achieve our goals!

Kale contains a small amount of omega 3 fatty acids and a very large amount of vitamin K, which both have amazing anti-inlfammatory properties. Vitamin K also plays a huge role in blood clotting, ie. Keeping us from bleeding out every time we get a paper cut. By a similar mechanism, it also helps to “spackle” minerals necessary for strength and mass maintenance on to our bones. Kale happens to be one of the best sources of this awesome vitamin.

The crucifer family of vegetables, which kale is a part of, have been studied pretty extensively in regard to their cancer-fighting potential. One reason is that they are chock full of antioxidants that protect our cells from being damaged by free-radicals, which is said to be a HUGE contributing factor in the representation of cancers. These little buggers are also responsible for what we perceive as aging, internal and external manifestations.

This being said, the more antioxidants the better, and kale has plenty. It’s got ACE! Vitamin’s A, C, and E all act as antioxidants. A and E are fat soluble, meaning that we store them in our bodies for long periods of time. Vitamin C, along with many others such as kaempferol and quercetin, are water soluble. Since we pee them out, we need to take a lot of them in to our bodies every day! Eat some kale and pack’em in! These five are a mere drop in the bucket of forty-five antioxidants that have been discovered in our friend, kale.

If you were sitting on the garden fence at the beginning of this post, I hope you have decided to plunge cell-deep into the wondrous world of kale. Perhaps I should give you a little recipe to help you take that next step. How about a smoothie? Smoothies are harmless! (And by harmless I mean hecka good for you and damn tasty.)

 

“Where’s the Kale” Smoothie

1 ripe banana

1 large or 2 small-medium kale leaves

1 tbsp. chia and/or flax seeds

1 tbsp. peanut or almond butter

½ to 1 c. blueberries

1 orange (I like to use mandarins)

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 c. coconut water, or as much as you need to blend

 

Method:

Throw it all in the vitamix (or whatever you’ve got) and blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Now you know what all those (I say this in the most loving way) weirdos are talking about. Yes, kale is kind of weird itself, but that doesn’t mean you should stay away from it. Quite the contrary, I believe. Weird is interesting, and if people are talking about it, there just may be something to it.

 

References:

 

“kale”. The World’s Healthiest Foods. WHFoods.org. Web. May 7, 2015.

 

<http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38>

 

“vitamin K”. The World’s Healthiest Foods. WHFoods.org. Web. May 7, 2015.

 

www.whfoods.com

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