All hale the kale! Without a doubt, Kale has surfaced as a trendy but here to stay super-food. There are a few different varieties of kale available that include dinosaur kale, curly kale, baby kale, flat Tuscan kale and Red Russian kale. Kale is also known as borecole or cow cabbage.
This green powerhouse veggie sports a broad nutritional value. Packed with vitamins and minerals, Kale also provides us with an army of important phytonutrients such as flavonoids and glucosinolates. In fact, just the dark green color of kale should clue you into the nutrient value that it provides us (all dark green veggies are loaded with nutrients and ideally we should focus on a variety of them).
Kale is known for its ORAC…Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. This measures foods ability to scavenge free radicals. Kale’s rating is 1,770. Compare that with spinach that comes in at 1,515 or cauliflower which rates at 839 and it’s easy to see the benefits that Kale provides in the way of antioxidant capacity (substances that help shield or bodies from cell damage and prevention of disease).
Unstable molecules are free radicals and these damaging molecules play havoc at the cellular level and that’s where Kale’s antioxidant power comes to the rescue.
Kale is much more flexible than people realize. You can bake it, blend it, sauté it and even enjoy it in the raw state. This healthy veggie is no longer limited to savory dishes but is being invited into sweet recipes by health focused cooks with great success.
With its deep nutritional profile (it also provides a hefty dose of fat and fiber, containing about 120 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per cup.), it is believed to be a force against cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and works to prevent different types of cancer. As a bonus, kale is great for prevention of pre-mature aging of the skin. It also promotes a healthy urinary tract.
Just one cup of kale provides minerals such as potassium, copper and manganese and 200% of your daily vitamin A needs and 134% of your vitamin C requirement. To top all that off, kale provides 700% of your daily requirement for vitamin K.
If you’ve never tried Kale in one of your sweet treats, snacks or desserts…you in for a real treat…literally!
Lemon Kale Cheesecake
1 cup almonds
½ cup walnuts
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup dates, soaked at least 30 minutes and drained
Place nuts into food processor and process until broken down and crumbly. Add dates and coconut and process until well combined. Turn out into a dish or pan, spread out evenly and press down.
1 cup cashews
¾ cup kale, de-stemmed
½ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
¼ cup honey
Zest and juice of one lemon
Process cashews first to break down then add all other ingredients and continue to process until mixture is smooth and creamy.
Pour over base and place in fridge or freezer to firm up and set (about an hour or more)
For more delicious, gluten, sugar and white flour free desserts that incorporate healthy veggies and a whole lot more:
Isn’t it time you began introducing these much ignored nutrient-dense super-stars into all your dishes…including your desserts?