Why Kale Is One Of The Best Vegetables To Cook In the Winter
Kale wonderful Kale! I love kale and it is so versatile. Kale can be used in soups, salads and casseroles. But it is even great on it's own. Simply sauteed with garlic and coconut oil then tossed on top of farro or quinoa or barley or brown rice. MMM - MMM - Good!
Kale is very nutritious and should be incorporated into your daily routine when it is in season. According to Fruits and Veggies More Matters, kale is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Since flu season is already surfacing across the country, the more Vitamin C you can get the better off you will be! Vitamin C is also critical to managing seasonal allergies.
According to a 2018 study on vitamin C in the treatment of allergies, oxidative stress plays a key role in allergic diseases. As vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it may act as a treatment for allergies. Another study from 2000 suggests taking 2 grams (g) of vitamin C daily to act as an antihistamine. (Source: Medical News Today) Since vitamin C is water soluble, it needs to be replaced in our bodies every day. Eating foods high in vitamin C every day helps support a healthy body.
Kale is a good source of calcium and potassium. Potassium is critical if you workout or use an infrared sauna. When you sweat, you lose potassium through your sweat! Replacing it is key since the mineral is needed for heart and digestive function.
Did you know that kale is great to eat when your gut health is not optimal? That's right! By eating kale, you are helping to keep your liver healthy and protected from toxic substances that it is exposed to via the gut. Most of us have a gut imbalance.
Stress, not exercising, eating processed foods, foods that are not organic and foods we are either sensitive or allergic to all lead to gut imbalances. Our liver is exposed to toxins and bacteria from our gut when we are imbalanced. Eating kale helps the liver produce enzymes that neutralizes the toxins and bacteria. (Sources: NIH and World's Healthiest Foods)
Kale is easy to cook, doesn't take a long time to prep and cooks fast. This makes it the perfect healthy vegetable for busy weeknight dinners, when time is short and every one is hungry! Enjoy the recipes below.
Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta by Budget Bytes. This is so simple, fast and does not contain meat, so it is a perfect dinner for a meatless Monday. Getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Any type of pasta can be used, even gluten free if someone in the house has a gluten allergy. I also like using bean pastas, like Banza, which increases both fiber and protein in the recipe. No matter what pasta you pair the kale with, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. Click here for the recipe.
Warm Balsamic Kale Salad by Pinch of Yum. Kale is in season during winter months making a warm salad a nice option for lunch. The salad contains mushrooms, peppers and onions that are sauteed with the kale. Then topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. I think a sprinkling of chopped dried fruits like cranberries or apricots would be a very nice topping addition. This salad is a healthy and meat-free lunch option. Click here for the recipe.
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Kale from SkinnyMs. The great thing about sweet potatoes is they don't spike your blood sugar as fast as white potatoes. Making them a more satisfying side dish or lunch option. Combining sweet potatoes with kale provides a unique way to incorporate kale into your diet. Click here for the recipe.
Lemon Pepper Chicken and Kale Stir-fry by Clean Food Crush. I had to incorporate a recipe with some meat! After all, I am plant-based but I eat meat about 3 days a week. This stir-fry is on the table in 30 minutes, making it an easy recipe to incorporate into your weeknight dinner routine. Click here for the recipe.
White Bean and Kale Soup by Culinary Hill. I love adding beans into recipes. They are high in fiber and really help to keep you full. This recipe is simple since it uses canned beans. If you have the time, you can cook your own beans. But canned are a good option as long as you rinse them thoroughly. By rinsing them under cool water it can reduce the sodium content by at least 33%. Serve this soup with a crusty bread and a salad for another meat-less dinner option. Click here for the recipe.
As you can see, kale is really easy to work with, very nutritious and cooks quickly during busy weeknights. Kale is high in vitamin C, potassium and calcium. Plus, it helps support a healthy liver by giving the liver nutrients so it creates enzymes to protect itself from a gut imbalance. Do you think you will cook with kale? If so, leave me a comment below.
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