Kale

kale

Healthy Benefits

Disease Prevention and Risk Reduction

The high levels of antioxidants, nearly twice the level found in other leafy greens, make kale effective in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, may help prevent degenerative eye disease such as cataract, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

Kale is high in sulforaphane making it a potent anti-cancer agent.

Preservation

Kale can be frozen quite easily. It’s important to blanch them first. Separate the stems and wash the leaves. Blanch for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes, remove the kale from the boiling water and place into a bowl of iced water. This stops the cooking process. Cool in the ice for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

After blanching, you can either freeze the kale in  freezer bags or vacuum bags. You can also blend the leaves down with a small amount of water. The blended leaves can then be separated into ice trays and frozen. The cubes can be used in smoothies or added into dishes when cooking for additional nutritional benefits.

Preparation

A great way to cook kale is to sauté chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 cup of chicken broth. Add 4 cups of kale, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Throw in 1/4 cup of dried cranberries to boost the antioxidant content and add tart flavor. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Resources

Reinhard, Tonia. Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2010. Print.

“How to Freeze Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard. Collards and Other Greens.” PickYourOwn.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2013.

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