Kale – Health Benefits and a Great Recipe!

Kale leaf

Lacinato or "Dinosaur" Kale is the preferred variety in our household.

Kale is very popular in our house.  We eat a big bowl of kale salad at least two times a week.

Kale is quite literally one of the most nutritious things you can eat.  According to http://www.nutrition-and-you.com:

  • “Versatile, sweet Kale is widely recognized as an incredibly nutritious vegetable for its low fat, no cholesterol and powerful anti-oxidant properties.
  • Kale, like other members of the brassica family, contains health promoting phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that are appears to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
  • Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol has been found to be an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating “Interferon-Gamma” receptors.
  • Borecole is very rich source of ß-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.
  • Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offers protection against “age related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • It is very rich in vitamin A, 100 g leaves provide 512% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 700% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
  • This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vit.B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc that are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.
  • It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Kale provides rich nutrition ingredients that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anaemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and, colon and prostate cancers.”

This is great news for any vegans or raw vegans who are concerned with their iron or calcium levels.  Kale, like most dark leafy greens, contains an abundance  of easily absorbable iron and calcium.

We use raw tahini in a lot of our dressings and other recipes for the same reason: high calcium and high iron content.

Until recently, I always cut the stems out of the kale leaves, because I thought my children preferred the salad that way. One day, however, I was in a rush and chopped up the kale, stems and all, and they still devoured it!

Here is one of my kid’s favorite kale salad recipes:

 

Kale Salad – A bowl full of vitamins!

 

Ingredients:

(These are approximations, you can change the ratio of tahini, honey, and vinegar depending on whether you like a sweeter/more sour/creamier dressing).

Kale (we use 3-4 bunches per 7 people)

1/4 cup Hemp seeds (optional)

Dressing:

3 heaping spoonfuls of Raw Tahini  (or other nut or seed butter)

1/4 cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

3 tablespoons of honey

 

Chop the Kale into small strips and place into a bowl.

Chopped Kale

 

Add hemp seeds (optional)

Hemp seeds

Put Tahini, honey, and vinegar into a jar.

Tahini Honey Vinegar dressing

 

Mix thoroughly with a spoon.

 

Yarrow stirring dressing

Yarrow, age 3

 

Pour dressing mixture over salad.

Yarrow pours dressing

 

Mix thoroughly.

 

Make sure each piece is coated with the dressing.

kale salad

 

Serve, and enjoy!

 

kids eating kale

Shale,10, Yarrow, 3, Jome, 13

Just one small serving of this salad contains over 1/3 of your child’s daily vitamin and mineral needs:

real kale salad nutrition

And check out that protein content!

 

In Joy,

Jinjee

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20 Responses to Kale – Health Benefits and a Great Recipe!

  1. Gail says:

    If those aren’t the most beautiful, healthy, happy, all natural children then I don’t know what!

  2. Kathie Nelson says:

    Looks delicious!

  3. elizabeth says:

    We all adore raw kale salad. Have not made a sweet version, we eat a savory one. I massage the kale with a tiny bit of cold pressed EVOO and then add some fresh lemon juice, onion powder, wheat free tamari, raw sesame seeds, diced Grape tomatoes or sundried. I try to have it on hand 7 days a week. I serve it at lunch and dinner as a side dish. For me it usually ends up being my main dish :) Yummy.
    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and for posting the wonderful nutritional information. I use that as part of our homeschool science, teaching the kids the nutritional facts of the raw foods they are consuming. Love it!!
    Peace and Raw Health,
    Elizabeth

  4. Jen says:

    I thought honey wasn’t vegan…
    oh well.

    • jinjee says:

      Hi Jen!

      I like to consider honey a flower product, since it doesn’t contain any animal products, but bees do manufacture it.

      Check out my blog on honey for more info: http://jinjeetalifero.com/?p=145

      You can always substitute with some other type of sweetener, but most of them are not truly raw.

      Hugs,
      Jinjee

  5. Sandi says:

    We love kale too!!! I especially like your other kale recipe that included all nutritional yeast flakes. Totally yumbo!! Unfortunately for me, kale has become so popular in our grocery stores that I often go and they are out :-(

    • jinjee says:

      Wow!

      I haven’t run into that problem yet, thankfully! It’s good to know that the world is starting to catch on to this healthy eating craze!

  6. GT says:

    Wish I could eat at your house every day! What an inspiration I know you all would be. You sold me on the benefits of kale awhile back, so Ive been trying to incorporate more into my diet. One thing I discovered in the process, the kale stems are great for juicing. Also, if you chop kale fine, and marinate it overnight, in salad oil and soy sauce, with a bit of garlic, it tastes just like sauteed greens, cooked with the same ingredients, only without the cooking! Works good with cabbage too. (some sesame seeds for garnish is also nice) I suppose soy sauce may not be “raw”, but Im in a transitional phase right now… Is there a such thing as raw soy sauce??

  7. cyd says:

    Good Morning to you.
    Yes, we eat Kale 4 times a week…my kids love it. Sometimes I use
    a sweet fruit like mango or berries to add…and always we love avo.
    It’s so wonderful being raw and watching the kids eat wonderful foods.
    My Mother is in aw when she comes to my home….just say’s over and over
    That’s a trip…kids eating salad’s like that.

  8. We eat kale regularly in our house too – and everyone loves it. It often goes into morning smoothies, and kale salad with lunch or dinner at least once a week. My favorite kale salad is at http://www.awakenedwellness.com/marinated-kale-salad. To keep it raw, just don’t toast the pine nuts.

  9. Shaneece says:

    I make kale salad everyday for lunch at work. I use hummus, olive oil vinegar, and a dash (or two) of cayenne pepper to make my dressing! Keeps me “regular” LOL! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Sheryl says:

    If people only knew that honey is a gift from the Beings on Venus – which is one of the highest vibratory foods on the Planet they would eat it at every meal. The Bees are Divine Beings which were created to bring the honey into to manifestion here. They radiate only a Love vibration.

  11. Elaine says:

    Fantastic! Slowly but surely, mainstream is catching on to this wonderfully healthy way to feed themselves. We love kale and it’s a mainstay in our Raw Kitchen. Please keep the info coming. Thanks

  12. Carol says:

    I love raw kale salad too. There was a youtube recipe which I had made for awhile. They massage it with a little sea salt or EVOO. It is sooo versatile. I add soaked pumpkin seeds (good nutrition there! zinc I think), you can sweeten it by adding dried fruit, you can put apples, zukes, cabbage, red pepper (these also provide beautiful color contrast). I use a simple dressing of miso and lemon juice. I haven’t made it for awhile. I am going to commit to making it at least once a week. This is also a great dish to bring to a pot luck. Thanks for this beautiful reminder. In gratitude to you, Carol

    • Carol says:

      oh, and avocado in it is THE BEST. I don’t always have avocado on hand, but dang those are good in this salad.

  13. Thanks for the article.. I have just recently found the vegan lifestyle and I love it. It seems like I just can’t take in enough information.

  14. Danette says:

    I made this for dinner tonight! So good. I did use almond butter instead of tahini because that’s what I had on hand, but I can’t wait to try it your way, too! Thanks!

  15. Rudy Madren says:

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again!

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