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kaleSome food trends come and go (sun dried tomatoes, anyone?), but hopefully kale is here to stay!  The popularity of this leafy green has exploded over the last several years, and with good reason.  Low in calories and rich in vitamins C, A and K, kale helps promote healthy vision, immunity, bone health and proper blood clotting.  Since it contains a number of antioxidants and other nutrients, it is also thought to protect against heart disease and prostate and colon cancer.  It’s no wonder kale is called a superfood!

Kale can be prepared in many ways, so have fun experimenting.  You can buy kale fresh or frozen.  Fresh kale needs a little more prep than some other vegetables, but it isn’t complicated.  Wash the kale thoroughly in cold water to remove any grittiness.  Remove the leaves from the stems and throw the stems away.  Tear the leaves in to bite-sized pieces and enjoy them raw in a salad.  Fresh or frozen kale can be steamed, boiled, or sautéed (in a little olive oil) until tender.  You can also add fresh or frozen kale to soups, stews or casseroles.

You can even make kale chips!  Pat the leaves dry and mix them with a spoonful of olive oil, your choice of seasonings (garlic or onion powder are great) and lay flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350º F for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are crispy and brown.

Too hot to turn on the oven?  Try this delicious kale salad, from the North Shore WIC Program!

Ashley’s Kale Salad

Ingredients

  •  Juice from ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed, rinsed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots

Ashley’s Kale Salad

Directions

  1.  To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
  1. In a large bowl, combine the kale, red pepper, onion, and carrots. Toss well with the dressing and serve.

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