What is Kale?

Also known as leaf cabbage, Kale belongs to the cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts group of plants that are grown for their edible leaves. It has dark green or purple leaves that have an earthy and strong taste. 

It is an ancient plant that has been grown since the time of the Romans and came back in the 19th-century when it was mostly used as a decorative plant. In the 1990s it became popular as food due to its nutritional benefits. 

What are the health benefits of Kale?

Kale is considered to be amongst the healthiest leafy greens on the planet. It is abundant in several essential minerals and nutrients such as:

  • Vitamins A, B6, C, and K along with thiamine and riboflavin
  • Manganese
  • Calcium
  • Copper¬†
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols

It is low in calories and high in fibre, making it a complete superfood.

Here are some great reasons for including kale in your diet:

  • Being one of the richest sources of vitamin C in the world, kale helps in strengthening your immune system that fights off common infections and colds. It prevents oxidative stress that reduces the risk of some types of cancers. This vitamin C also keeps premature ageing at bay.
  • Its iron content helps in the formation of enzymes and haemoglobin. This builds your muscles, prevent anaemia, boosts cognitive function, and regulates your body temperature.¬†
  • Its vitamins K1 and K2 content helps in keeping your body‚Äôs blood-clotting system healthy. These also prevent calcium from sticking to the walls of your arteries and build stronger bones.
  • The antioxidants in kale prevent the production of free radicals that damage our cells. This helps prevent the risk of several types of cancers.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties improve your cardiovascular health and prevent the risk of heart diseases.¬†
  • Rich in calcium, even more than milk, kale helps build stronger bones and prevents the risk of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.¬†

Which are 7 of the best recipes for Kale?

It is super easy to gain all these incredible benefits by including these 7 kale recipes in your diet. Kale is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be made into a variety of foods such as kale chips, kale salad, kale smoothie, kale soup, and crispy kale. Because of its delicious taste, it has become as popular as our Indian staples such as cabbage matar and cabbage matar and 6 rotis. 

These 7 kale recipes are amongst the most delicious and easy to make:

  1. Kale Paneer & Coconut Curry: This is a mildly fragrant dish tastes amazing and can be rustled up in a jiffy and makes for one of the most delicious 7 kale recipes:
  • In a pan, heat a little oil and saute onions, ginger, and garlic until they are fragrant.
  • Add butter to this along with cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and tomato paste. Cook well.
  • Start adding kale in batches with coconut water until the kale leaves wilt.
  • Once the kale gets cooked, add coconut cream.
  • Add this mixture to a blender and mix till it is pureed.
  • Return to the pan and add paneer pieces. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in yoghurt and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  • Serve with rice or naan.
  1. Baked crispy kale: Amongst the best 7 kale recipes, this is also known as kale chips. These kale chips are a great side addition to a Chinese meal:
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and spread the kale on baking trays.¬†
  • Drizzle with a little sunflower oil.
  • Mix in Chinese five spices, brown sugar, and sesame seeds.
  • Roast for 6-7 minutes until crispy.
  • Serve crispy kale with noodles and your favourite curry.
  1. Kale smoothie: This kale smoothie is so packed with nutrients that it makes for the perfect between-the-meal snack. This is amongst the top 7 kale recipes that also includes fruits and yoghurt:
  • Combine kale, pineapple, honey, banana, peanut butter, Greek yoghurt, and almond milk in a blender and mix well.

  1. Kale salad with garlic and lemon: This zesty kale salad makes for a great side dish with almost any cuisine. Follow this kale salad recipe: 
  • In a bowl, combine lemon juice, salt, olive oil, and garlic cloves. Keep it aside.
  • In another bowl, add chopped kale and sprinkle with toasted almonds and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle in the prepared dressing and toss well.
  • Serve this kale salad recipe slightly warm.¬†
  1. Creamy potato kale soup: This creamy and mild tasting kale soup is perfect for a cold winter afternoon. This is amongst the best 7 kale recipes that are loved for their taste and texture. Follow these steps:
  • Heat butter in a pan and add onions, potatoes. Saute until they are golden brown. Add salt and pepper along with vegetable or chicken broth, and chopped kale. Simmer for around 10 minutes.
  • Transfer this into a blender and whisk it into a smooth puree.¬†
  • Transfer the mix back into the pan and stir in milk and more broth. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.¬†
  1. Kale and chickpea sabzi: This is one of the best 7 kale recipes loved for its unique nutty taste. 
  • Heat oil in a pan and add garlic and kale. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add vegetable or chicken broth, chickpeas, cumin, garam masala, and salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from the pan once kale and chickpeas are tender.
  • Serve with hot rotis.
  1. Kale Dal: This flavourful dal is not just delicious but also has the healthy punch of kale. This is amongst the most comforting 7 kale recipes that you can try easily at home:
  • Cook toor dal with cumin, crushed garlic, curry leaves, cilantro, chopped green chillies, and oil.¬†
  • Lightly mash the dal once it‚Äôs cooked.
  • In another pan, heat oil and roast red chillies, curry leaves, cumin, and mustard seeds. Cook till the mustard seeds splutter. Add onions and garlic and saute.
  • Now add kale and cook till it reduces to half.
  • Add this tempering to the cooked dal and cook for 2-3 minutes.¬†
  • Drizzle lemon juice and serve hot.

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March 15, 2022
Healthy Eating

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