With a shudder, my mind instantly went back to some of the crazy healthy concoctions my mother would make when I was a kid. I mean what kid gets excited to see ‘thick‘ and ‘green‘ coming at them in a glass?!
When I was little, I used to think she was torturing us kids, but as an adult, I now realize that because of her nutritional efforts, all eight of her children are very healthy. We range in age from early thirties to late forties and none of us has had issues with weight or dietary health problems.
After the meeting, I had to know what my friend was drinking! It was the first green smoothie I’d ever seen. When she explained that the most important ingredient was kale, I thought she must be confused.
Lettuce is for salads that you eat with a fork, not drink with a straw! She invited me over the next day to try for myself the awesomeness of kale through a straw. She was about to convince me that kale is your body’s super fuel…
She put a large handful of the dark, thick leaves in her blender with about a half cup of juice and let it blend for a about a minute. Then, she added 2-3 cups of frozen berries and cut up fruit. She blended for another minute or so, then poured the green mixture into a glass and handed it to me. I risked it and took a sip…it was delicious! I was amazed!
Kale had passed my taste test, so now I was ready to learn why kale was so good for me.
Here’s what I learned. Kale is:
- Actually part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which means it is actually more like broccoli and cabbage than like leaf lettuce.
- A super nutrient-rich food boasting 45 flavonoids which provide:
- Antioxidant benefits
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
- Extremely high amounts of vitamin K (1180% of DV per serving)
- Very high amounts of vitamins A and C
- Significant amounts of several other vitamins and minerals such as:
- B vitamins
- Significant amounts of omega-3 fats
- High fiber content
I want to pass on fantastic health to my children just as my mom did for me, but they are picky about what they eat. Hiding the greatness of kale in a smoothie is brilliant! I’ve also learned that with enough berries, the smoothie doesn’t even look green.
Here are some tips for using kale:
- De-stem the kale leaf before you blend it (the bitterness is in the stem)
- It is delicious in smoothies combined with vanilla IdealShake and berries
- It is also scrumptious in smoothies with all kinds of things like:
- Lime juice
- Steaming kale is another great option (de-stem, steam in steamer 5-10 minutes until bright green, serve with a little butter, and salt and pepper)
- You can even make “chips” out of kale and take it to work (de-stem, tear into bite-sized pieces, place on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with season salt, and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until edges are just brown)
Kale – one more super food to add to your arsenal against poor nutrition and the battle of the bulge. Just think how good you will feel when you leave the house in the morning knowing that you and your kids have already had the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies for the day!
You all will be calmer and more focused in school with such great nutrition in your tummies. Do it for yourself and do it for them. You’ll be glad you did!
By April Seeley