If you haven’t tried kale yet, you are likely in the minority. This dark leafy green has become one of the most popular vegetables over the past few months – but not without reason, the benefits of the green stuff are endless. Kale is believed to protect against cancer and significantly lower cholesterol if eaten regularly. Additionally, it is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, all of which are antioxidants. Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw (WebMD).
So now you’re probably thinking – how do I incorporate this into my daily diet? It is easier than you might think. An easy swap would be to use kale instead of [or in addition to] other greens as a salad base – sounds simple right? It is, however, you’ll want to massage your kale first to turn it from bitter and tough to silky and sweet. All you need to do is take bunches of kale in both hands — with the fibrous ribs removed — rub them together and repeat. You’ll notice a visible change as you do this; the leaves will darken, shrink in size and become silky in texture. This means the cellulose structure is breaking down. So you salad will take an extra five minutes to make, not the end of the world though. If you don’t have time to massage your kale – try throwing into a smoothie. As long as your blender is strong enough it will breakdown completely and you won’t even know it is there. If you’ve got a few extra minutes to spare, I highly recommend baking your kale and turning it into chips. This is my favourite snack, I always feel so naughty eating them because they taste too good to be true. You can find pre-made kale chips in many grocery stores and health food markets, however, the price tag on the crunchy treats are through the roof. For convenience they are a great option, your wallet on the other hand will hate you. Also, many of the store-bought brands contain added sugar, the recipe I am about to share with out doesn’t require any. Rest assured, there is nothing even remotely unhealthy about these chips – so dig in, guilt free.
Cheese-less, Cheesy Kale Chips
Inspired by: The DetoxinistaIngredients
One large bunch of curly green kale (preferably organic)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
1/4 cup + 1 T. water
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Pre heat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Wash the kale and tear it into bite sized pieces. Dry each piece well. The drier they are, the crispier the chips will end up. Put the pieces in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine the rest of the ingredients using a high powered blender.
Once well combined, add the sauce to the bowl of kale and mix well with your hands. You want to make sure each piece of kale is coated in sauce.
Spread the kale onto the parchment paper – I like to split it between to baking sheets – and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Once the pieces start to turn brown on the edges, they are done.
You can store the chips in an air-tight container in the fridge – if you have any left. These kale chips don’t last long in my house!
Have you ever tried using kale? I’d love to hear some of your favourite recipes or uses!