A Little Information About Kale
Many nutritionists consider kale to be the most nutritious vegetable among all the other green leafy vegetables in the world. One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
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The Recipe - Kale Chips
Kale Chips have become wildly popular over the past few years, and for good reason. They’re super easy to make, and since kale is available all year, it’s a great way to get greens into the most reluctant greens eaters! The simplest way to make them is with a dehydrator, but if you don’t have one, they can be prepared as described below and then baked in a moderate oven (300 degrees F.) until crisp. If you’re using the oven method, you need to turn them several times as they cook to allow them to dry thoroughly.
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Drying Time: About 6 Hours
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 1 small red pepper
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon agave or honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4-8 shakes of cayenne
- Clean the kale by breaking the leaves off of the stems, leaving the pieces of kale rather large, about 2 inches in size. You should have about 12 cups of leaves. Discard or compost the stems. Place the leaves in a large mixing bowl.
- Trim the top, ribs and seeds from the pepper and discard or compost. Cut the remaining pepper into about 1-inch squares. Place them in to a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Add the nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, agave, salt and cayenne.
- Process the mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until evenly combined. Pour this pepper mixture over the kale and, using your hands, work it into the leaves, massaging them gently until all are evenly coated.
- Turn the kale out in single layers onto non-stick trays in a dehydrator and dry until crisp. Part way through the drying process turn the chips carefully in order to allow the underside to dry evenly. If you over dry the kale it becomes too delicate and the flavor is not full. If you under dry the chips, they are not crisp. Depending on what temperature you use for dehydrating, the process can take anywhere from 6-12 hours.
- Serve when cool. Store kale chips in an airtight container for up to a week.