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Kale: Recipes, Nutrition And Benefits

Kale is considered a superfood and it has become one of the main ingredients of detox diets for weight loss. Find the best kale recipes and how to cook it.
Kale is a superfood with antioxidant properties, vitamins, and minerals

 

Kale recipes have become very popular lately. This superfood contains important components such as l-carnitine, which helps lose weight and provides the body with many nutrients.

In this article, you will find out what this vegetable is, its benefits, and how to cook it.

What is kale?

Kale is a type of cabbage that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which is native to northern Germany. The plant is green and with very curly leaves that characterize and give meaning to its name. It usually reaches 30 cm high and is harvested in the months of December and January.

This vegetable is widely used in cooking. It is typical of German, Portuguese and the Netherlands cuisine. In Spain, it is usually eaten in salads and mixed with other vegetables.

This superfood is very nutritious and provides essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals for the body. Kale detox smoothies are very popular nowadays, as well as vegetarian or vegan recipes with this ingredient due to its benefits and low-calorie content.

This vegetable is usually included in healthy food plans to lose weight because of its high content in water, l-carnitine natural source and fiber, among others. It helps to lose weight and generates a satiating effect on the body.

Its consumption is also very recommended for people who make a lot of sport regularly because of its high nutritional content and antioxidant properties that help to recover electrolytes lost during training.

Benefits of kale

The properties of this vegetable include vitamins A, E, and C, and minerals such as sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.

It has a low-calorie intake —100 grams only contain 49 calories. It is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber. Below are some of its most essential benefits.

1. It is a superfood

As mentioned before, thanks to the great nutritional value of this vegetable, it is considered a superfood that also contains components such as the phytonutrient indole-3-carbinol that helps repair the cells of our body and provides an antioxidant effect that prevents the development of some cancers such as bladder cancer.

2. Prevents anemia

Kale's iron content is moderate, but it can be increased by consuming it along with other foods rich in vitamin C such as red pepper or tomato so that the body can prevent future anemias.

3. Helps lose weight

It is a perfect food to include in healthy diet plans since it helps to lose weight. Kale has a low-calorie content while it provides our body with many vitamins. Its consumption also has satiating effects and helps reduce bad cholesterol.

4. Protects the cardiovascular system

This vegetable prevents cardiovascular and heart-related pathologies as well as diseases related to the immune system such as lupus or arthritis.

Some of the best kale recipes are kale salads, omelets, or even fruit and vegetable smoothies

How to cook kale: 4 recipes

The popularity of this type of cabbage has been increasing more and more and the ways of cooking it are wider. Including this vegetable in our diet is easy with the following recipes.

1. Detox kale smoothie

This green juice is very quick and easy to make. It also softens this vegetable's flavor. We can also add pineapple, kiwi, lemon, apple, and a little bit of ginger.

The number of vegetables and fruits included in the smoothie will vary depending on our preferences. It is important to crush or blend all the ingredients in detox juices so that they retain more nutrients.

2. Kale salad

Salads are one of the healthiest ways to eat vegetables since raw vegetables retain all their benefits much better. This vegetable that can be combined with fruits in salads, especially with avocado.

It can also be combined with tomato, cheese, cucumber, onion, or even pasta or quinoa, and we can add a vinaigrette (made of oil, salt, lemon and soy sauce, for instance).

3. Parmesan, kale and pine nuts pizza

Adding kale leaves to pizza is a healthy and delicious idea, as well as easy to prepare. The necessary ingredients for this recipe are:

  • 1 slice homemade pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon natural tomato sauce
  • ½ onion
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese
  • 1 handful of pine nuts
  • 3 slices of ham (optional)
  • 4 kale leaves

Preheat the oven to 200ºC, spread the dough, put the ingredients and then put the pizza in the oven. When it is done, you can add extra virgin olive oil and some herb such as basil.

4. Kale and green garlic omelette

Omelette is a dish that contains many proteins and is easy to cook. It is suitable for hypocaloric diets. To prepare this tasty recipe we will need:

  • 120 g kale
  • 1 egg yolk and 3 or 4 egg whites
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Olive oil
  • 70 g green garlic

 

First, wash the kale and garlic and then chop them. Blanch it for 4 minutes in hot water. Next, sauté the garlic until golden brown. Next step is to beat the eggs and add the kale and garlic to the mixture. Finally, add it to the frying pan and make the omelette.

References

Walsh, R. P., Bartlett, H. & Eperjesi, F. (2015). Variation in Carotenoid Content of Kale and Other Vegetables: A Review of Pre- and Post-harvest Effects. Journal of Agriculture Food and Chemicals. 63(28): 9677–9682.

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