Farmers working on Kale Crops

What can I do with kale?

As far as kale is concerned, this is one superfood that really does live up to the hype. It has nearly 50% more calcium and vitamin K than spinach, and almost four times more vitamin C. It’s also surprisingly high in protein, has no cholesterol and comes in at under 50 calories per 100g.

As you might expect, all these nutrients offer a host of health benefits. Eating kale will help support your immune system (thanks to its vitamin C and iron – the former helps with absorption of the latter) and support bone health (calcium, vitamin K and protein all help maintain bones). Potassium has been linked to healthy blood pressure and, since this humble cabbage contains no cholesterol, it’s a good choice for a healthy heart. Its relatively high fibre and water content can also do wonders for your digestion.

Fear not, you don’t have to bake your own kale chips or do daily battle with your juicer to harness the benefits of these nutrients. As with most veg, the less you cook it, the more nutrients you’ll ingest. Try gently steaming and dropping into soups and casseroles, or use in place of cabbage in Bubble & squeak. Here are 3 more ideas for making the most of kale…

Thai kale salad

Good for: a gentler take on raw kale
Serves 2

Nutrients per serving:

Energy Total fat Saturates Protein Fibre Carbs Sugar Salt
119 kcal 6.7 g 0.8 g 4.7 g 4.2 g 8.1 g 6.9g 0.15 g

Ingredients

  • 1 bag baby kale

  • 1 carrot, cut into strips with a vegetable peeler

  • ½ cucumber, cut into strips with a vegetable peeler

  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Glug of sesame oil *
  • Handful of roasted peanuts *
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves
* Available at Holland & Barrett

Method

Step 1
Divide the kale onto two plates. Scatter the carrot and cucumber on top.

Step 2
Shake the lime juice, sugar and sesame oil together in a lidded jar. Drizzle over the vegetables.

Step 3
Top with a scattering of peanuts and coriander leaves.

Kale colcannon

Good for: a nutrient-rich take on mash
Serves 4

Nutrients per serving:

Energy Total fat Saturates Protein Fibre Carbs Sugar Salt
73 kcal 2.7 g 1.4 g 2 g 2.6 g 8.9 g 2.1 g 0.1 g

Ingredients

  • 1 large floury potato
  • 1 large parsnip
  • ½ head celeriac
  • 1 tsp knob butte
  • Splash of milk *
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g shredded kale, stalks removed
* Available at Holland & Barrett

Method

Step 1
Chop the root veg into large pieces and cook in boiling water until tender. Steam the kale until tender.

Step 2
Drain the veg, add the butter and milk, plenty of black pepper and mash to your desired consistency.

Step 3
Stir in the drained kale and serve immediately.

Hearty kale and bean stew

Good for: a veggie protein boost
Serves 2-3

Nutrients per serving:

Energy Total fat Saturates Protein Fibre Carbs Sugar Salt
226 kcal 2.2 g 0.3 g 13 g 11 g 31 g 12 g 0.51 g

Ingredients

  • 400g tin mixed beans

  • 400g tin tomatoes

  • ½ onion, chopped

  • 1 red pepper, sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 100g shredded kale, stalks removed

  • 50g vegan cheese, grated (optional)

Method

Step 1
In a casserole dish, fry the onion in a little sunflower oil for 2 minutes; add the pepper and fry for 4 minutes more; add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Step 2
Drop in the kale, add the drained beans and the tomatoes. Put the lid on the pan, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 3
Serve with brown rice and a scattering of cheese.

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This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.

Related Topics

Nutrition