Kale is a superfood. Yes it is a super vegetable…its not just one of these new “trendy” health fads. It is my favourite vegetable as it is SO VERSATILE you can use it in salads, smoothies, stir fries and I even add it as a “hidden veggie” in my bolognaise sauce (which is on high rotation for our family dinners).
Facts about Kale
Like its cousins, broccoli and cauliflower, kale is a descendant of the wild cabbage and was eaten by Celtic tribes as long ago as 600 B.C. There are several varieties of kale, each with a unique flavor and texture but all are packed with nutritional value and a boatload of fiber.
My favourite (and often the most commonly available) is Curly kale with ruffled leaves with a pungent, peppery flavor. The leaves of Tuscan kale are a dark bluish green and tastes delicately sweet. Ornamental kale is a more recently cultivated species that is oftentimes referred to as salad savoy. Its leaves may either be green, white, or purple with a mild flavor.
Why Kale is vegetable “royalty”
Recently, researchers have discovered that kale and other Brassica family vegetables such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts are rich in calcium, lutein, iron, beta-carotene, and Vitamins A, C, and K – all essential for a growing fetus and baby ! A single serving of Kale provides 192 percent of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A, which can act as a preventative against lung diseases. Research in Australia found that a diet high in beta-carotene foods like kale can also decrease the chances of skin cancer and nutritionist Jonny Bowden calls Kale “vegetable royalty,” as kale contains indoles, a compound to found to fight cancer and also decrease cholesterol levels.
Kale is Super Versatile
Another reason why I love Kale – it is SO VERSATILE and it lasts in the fridge for a long while (who else hates limp veggies !) Always look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist, firm stems. Plus buy organic or spray free when you can.
Here are some Kale recipe ideas…
Kale Chips Recipe – gluten free / grain free / vegan and vegetarian
This is an easy and nutritious recipe. Kale chips make a perfect pregnancy snack as they are salty and crunchy…something I know I craved during pregnancy. Plus if you are struggling with nausea – they are a great way to nutritionally fuel yourself with only a small serving !
My kids also absolutely love Kale Chips. They are my go to “side dish” and the perfect way to increase their veggie intake.
How to make Kale Chips
Simply spray a baking tray with olive oil / coconut oil then add your kale leaves to the tray in small portions (not too small they shrink) and avoid the stems they are bitter. Then add another spray of oil then a sprinkle of your favourite spice – e.g tuscan seasoning or garlic. Simply bake for about 20 mins until they look crisp / slightly brown on ends at 180- 200 degrees C.
Other Kale Recipe Ideas
- Add Kale to your favourite salads – like my quinoa salad below
- Saute Kale for breakfast with scrambled or over easy eggs – eggs and kale and both pregnancy postpartum superfoods. Learn why
- Add Kale to make a simple pregnancy / postpartum snack – one of my favourite go to snacks is wholemeal toast or sourdough (or 3 rice cakes) topped with natural peanut butter, slices of banana and a drizzle of honey.
- Add Kale to make a nutritious green smoothie – recipe here.
I would love to hear how you use kale or sneak any other “greens” into both you and your family’s daily nutrition. Connect with me in my Facebook Community #BFABSQUAD and if you need some more tips grab my pregnancy and postpartum complimentary nutrition guide