You may have seen the intimidating dark green leafy vegetable lurking with the rest of the veggies. Maybe read about it on the Whole Foods bag, or heard about it from your hippy friend.
Whatever the case, you should know that kale is a super-nutritious vegetable, with many varieties and various ways for preparation (my favorite—kale chips)!
According to WebMd, one cup of kale contains only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 15 percent daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40 percent magnesium, 180 percent vitamin A, 200 percent vitamin C, and 1,020 percent vitamin K.
In addition to the vitamin content, kale is also a great source of important minerals like copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
The Aggregate Nutrition Density Index (ANDI) is a nutritional scoring tool that uses mineral, vitamin and phytochemical content to measure a food’s nutritional value. The higher the ANDI score, the more nutritional content is available per calorie. According to the ANDI, kale receives the highest score possible — a whopping 1000!
The only other food that has a rank as high as kale is collard greens, a yummy but mostly unpopular green.
There are many wonderful kale recipes out there, but since kale is one of the unique veggies that can be made into an awesome chip, I’ll share that one!
1 bunch of kale
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Kale chips are so easy, nutritious and delicious! Simply rinse and dry the kale, rip it off of the small stalks into pieces (a few inches in width will work), place on pan and drizzle with olive oil and spices and place in the oven at 350° for 10-15 mins.
Oftentimes the chips on the edges of the pan will get a little too crisp so it’s always good to check on them.
Careful with the salt and other seasonings, as they are intensified after the kale shrinks.
Don’t overestimate how many chips you’ll end up with! In the oven, the water will evaporate out of the kale, leaving behind small, but crunchy, delectable, and nutritious leafy snacks.
For another awesome recipe, try one of my very favorite kale salad recipes.
Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI). (n.d.). RD411.com. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from
Barclay, E. (2011, December 7). Superfood Kale In The Limelight : The Salt : NPR. NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR. Retrieved January 9, 2012, from http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/12/07/143304131/superfood-kale-in-the-limelight
Zelman, K. (n.d.). The Truth About Kale: Nutrition, Recipe Ideas, and More. WebMD - Better information. Better health.. Retrieved January 6, 2012, from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale
Reviewed January 11, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith