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Kale Benefits and Recipes

Kale: The Wonder Leaf

The following post was written by Sia Cooper, who blogs at Diary of a Fit Mommy and is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Kale is one of the most nutrient-packed leafy greens that you can find in the supermarket these days and is possibly one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. It is packed full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as iron. Another great thing about kale? It's relatively inexpensive! There are many ways to incorporate this wonder veggie into your diet as it is the perfect companion to maintaining a healthy diet.

Photo: Susannah Chen

Some benefits of adding kale to your diet are:

  • Low in calories
  • Great for detox
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Filled with antioxidants
  • Lowers risk of cancer

Interested in giving this wonder veggie a try? Here are five recipes in which you can add kale to your daily diet:

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Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Cut stems off of kale and tear into bite-size pieces.
  2. Place in a ziplock bag with oil and salt, and shake it all together to distribute evenly.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes.

Banana, Apple, and Kale Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 small banana
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1 handful kale
  • 1 handful ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Kale Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, juice, garlic powder, and salt.
  2. Drizzle over kale.

Sautéed Kale

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Cut stems off of the kale, and tear kale leaves into smaller pieces.
  2. Place oil into the skillet, and heat on medium. Add in the kale pieces.
  3. Season with garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Kale Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups kale
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Place pine nuts in a dry skillet, and toast, shaking occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Place kale in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add pine nuts, garlic, and salt. Pulse until kale is finely chopped.
  3. Add cheese, and pulse until cheese is incorporated.
  4. Drizzle in olive oil, and continue to pulse until the pesto reaches the desired consistency.
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