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All Hail Kale!

Kale. It has become the new broccoli. As President Bush said - "I don't like broccoli and I am not going to eat it". OK, so that may be a simplified version of his statements, but I think a lot of us don't like kale. It's green, and leafy, which means it must be good for you....yuck. Sticks in your teeth, and all those health nuts eat it. No thanks.

Well let me try to persuade you to reconsider. Kale is high in vitamin C and K, moderate in Calcium, and low in fat and calories. Kale contains beta carotene, and it has one of the highest amounts of  antioxidants among all food measured. It is considered a superfood for it's nutritional value and is a favorite ingredient in vegetarian and vegan recipes. Hey flu season has been a bear this year, and how many oranges can you really eat?

Kale can be cooked as a side dish, much like spinach. Sautee it with a little garlic for added flavor. Creamed kale is even better, if you are not yet a fan (you can use coconut milk instead of the cream to cut fat). Kale can be be hidden in soups, lasagnas and other one pot dishes.  Snacking? Try kale chips - oven baked leaves are crispy, salted and delicious. Kale salads, tossed with a little tahini, sesame oil, or dried fruit and nuts make for a meal that travels well to the office.

Kale pairs really nicely with a little nutmeg and or sweet tart flavors, like dried cranberries. Nuts add to the earthiness of kale, and complements nicely. Sweet potatoes and winter squashes make a great partner, as do black beans for a delicious chili or stew.

But how about kale for breakfast? Say what????  Are you crazy? Vegetables for breakfast? Well, yes. I am seeing more and more opportunities to incorporate this green powerhouse into every meal. No you don't have to drink one of those weird green smoothies or buy a juicer like you see on TV, well unless you want to.  Simple - try a quiche or omelet with kale instead of spinach. Add feta and some red onion for a delicious hearty breakfast. Nuts.com has a kale granola....it is so good! And only 127 calories per serving - unheard of!  Tastes like a cinnamony crunchy treat despite the large clumps of green leaves. Whole foods had a supergreen cereal in their bulk bin yesterday that smelled delicious too - warm spices, oats and goodness. OK, you might get some weird looks eating green cereal. But then again maybe your kids will think green cereal is cool....alien like. 

So open your mind, try new things, and you just never know....you too just might hail kale with your new "super green powers"!

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