Kale: Raw, Cooked, or Blended?

Yes it’s a real question.  We have fallen in love with this dark leafy green and for good reason.  It reduces inflammation and is filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as vitamin A, selenium, and beta-cryptoxanthin just to name a few… Other health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable are fiber, iron, calcium and a whopping 121 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 mg of omega-6 fatty acids in just one serving.  Now we are talking my language in that food=mood.  Hello serotonin boost!

So let’s get started. There are hundreds of recipes on how to cook kale, blend kale and bake kale but the consensus is you need to massage kale first!  Yes, you have heard this many times to catch your attention but it’s true.  The basic idea behind this catchy phrase is to simply break down the fibers to help your teeth and your tummy.  Because kale has a very rough texture it takes a lot of chewing to swallow before we can reap the benefits of this protective king of the greens.  This can be done by adding lemon juice or olive oil and simply giving it some love.  You will see it turn from dark green to a bright earthy hue that will change before your eyes.  Chopping, sautéing and baking also helps to break down its cellulose structure.

My favorite recipe is kale “fried rice.” It’s a delicious savory breakfast or quick easy dinner taking only minutes to prepare.  But please buy organic kale.  This is one of the heaviest pesticide-sprayed crops.  And there is one sure-fire way to decrease your mood when swallowing a mouthful of chemicals.  So buy organic and wash thoroughly.   Of course my meals are always quick and on the go so try and find organic, chopped and triple washed kale as it’s everywhere.  Making it easy to toss in your smoothie, add nutrients to a soup, mix up in a salad, or a quick open-faced omelet.

In good health,

Mike McKenna