Kale: it’s a keeper
Britta Schiemann | Fulcrum Contributor
WE’VE ALL BEEN there—the ho-hum food rut where you end up eating the same vegetables every day for weeks because they’re the only things you know how to cook properly. If you’re thinking, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” maybe I can challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and welcome a new veggie into your life. Lately, one of my favourites has been kale.
I used to be an avid spinach lover, and would put it into absolutely everything. My smoothies, soups, sandwiches, and salads all had spinach in them. Then I found kale and was pleasantly surprised.
It’s easy to see how kale can be intimidating—it’s large, leafy, and near impossible to stuff into a plastic produce bag—but you won’t regret picking up a bundle at the grocery store.
Kale has a rich texture, deep green colour, and great flavour, but its best feature by far is its nutritional profile: this veggie boasts an abundance of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and cancer-fighting nutrients.
Eating kale is also a great way to manage your cholesterol. Whether you steam it or prefer to eat it raw, its fiber nutrients do a great job at removing unwanted waste and toxins in your digestive tract, thus lowering your cholesterol and detoxifying your system. To top it all off, kale is also loaded with calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K.
It can be hard to incorporate something new into a diet, especially when cooking it seems like a tedious task. The nice thing about kale, although it’s not as easy as a bagged caesar salad, is that it can make a nutritious snack in a matter of minutes. One of my favourite ways to enjoy kale is to steam it. Start by running a sharp knife along the stalk of a leaf to remove the ruffled leaves. Once you’ve done this to the entire bunch, roughly chop the kale leaves, rinse them with cold water, and steam them with a bit of water for about five minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Basically any oil will tenderize and soften kale, making it easier to digest.
Another great alternative to steaming is giving kale an “avocado love rub.” After washing it, simply put it into a bowl, mash an avocado, and massage it into the kale. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, add salt and pepper and enjoy!