Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 2: Kale Chips!

As promised I am continuing my week of kale recipes.  Kale chips are quick and simple to make and can be enjoyed as a snack anytime of the day!

5 A Day! 
We all know that vegetables are good for us, try adding them to your plate whenever possible!  Think about salads, steamed vegetables, or adding them to sandwiches, casseroles, and soups.They provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to help fight inflammation, and even control blood pressure.  The green leafy vegetables are incredibly nutritious as they have extra health benefits.  Kale is part of the cabbage family and is related to broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, and of course cabbages.  The cruciferous vegetables are known to possibly lower your risk of cancer.  In fact, the Journal of American Dietetic Association found that 70% of the studies found a link between cruciferous veggie intake and lower cancer risk.

The Super Veggie
Kale is low in calories, at 36 calories per cup and has 5 g fiber.  But what makes kale so special is its long list of vitamins and minerals.  One cup provides 15% of calcium, 180% of Vitamin C, 200% of Vitamin A, and over 1000% of Vitamin K. These vitamins are all antioxidants which help the body fight off inflammation and free radical production.  In addition to its antioxidant power, Vitamin K also plays a role in bone health, and normal blood clotting.  Additionally, Vitamin C plays an important role in immune function and can help iron absorption.  Kale is super easy to cook and is a great addition to soups and casseroles or can be sautéed for an easy side-dish.  Tune in tomorrow as I continue my week of kale recipes!

Kale Chips
Serves 8

1 bunch of kale
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Wash and chop the kale. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and place in a thin layer on two cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until dry.  Enjoy immediately or allow to cool and place in a ziploc bag for up to 5 days.

Nutrition facts:1 cup
41 calories, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 2 g fat, 1 g fiber, 100 mg sodium

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