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Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Does Kale Help With Weight Loss?

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Almighty Kale!

Delicious Kale Salad + health benefits of Kale and why it's excellent for weight loss! via Linda Wagner blog

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard that kale is good for you, but do you know how good? And did you know that it can help tremendously with weight loss?

“For a green, kale is unusually high in fiber. This helps create the bulk you need to fill you up and to keep you full for a good amount of time. Kale is also an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A and calcium. With a combination of vitamins,minerals, and phytonutrients, kale is a dieter’s dream food.

Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands a head above the rest. Not only is it one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases, it also provides other important nutrients.

In addition to beta-carotene, kale posses other important carotenoids: lutein and zeaxathin. These carotenoids help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and causing cataracts.

According to recent research results, kale is an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium, which is one of the many factors that may help prevent osteoporosis. It also provides decent amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium.

The manganese in kale helps your body’s own antioxidant defense system, superoxide dismutase, protecting you from damaging free radicals. Its folate and B6 team up to keep homocysteine levels down, which may help prevent heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis bone fractures.

Don’t forget, kale’s a member of the cruciferous family, along with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens. Research indicates that loading up on cruciferous vegetables and the organosulfur compounds they contain can help ward off certain cancers.” (source)

Sometimes Kale gets a bad wrap. Its strong taste can be off-putting unless you know how to prepare it. Lucky for you, I have a delicious recipe that you will LOVE! This recipe is adapted from Power Foods, one of my favorite healthy cookbooks!

Delicious Kale Salad + health benefits of Kale and why it's excellent for weight loss! via Linda Wagner blog

 Sweet Potato, Kale, and Goat Cheese Salad with Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette

This Recipe is 3 parts:

Part 1 – For the sweet potatoes you’ll need:

  • 3 med sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • olive oil
  • spices: I used garlic powder*, All Purpose seasoning*, red pepper flakes, sea salt & fresh cracked pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Place your cubed sweet potatoes in a plastic bag and drizzle with just enough olive oil to lightly coat.  Then spread them evenly on a large baking sheet lined with foil and/or parchment paper. Next sprinkle the dried herbs, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper generously over your vegetables. Place on top rack in oven and bake for about 20 minutes then change your oven setting to “BROIL” and cook until your potatoes are just slightly browned. Remove and let cool.

While your potatoes are cooking you can work on the kale.

Kale & Sweet Potatoes via Linda Wagner

Part 2 – For the Kale you’ll need:

  • 2 bunches Kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces
  • 2 large shallots or 1/2 a red onion sliced into thin strips
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • dry white wine
  • organic butter
  • sea salt

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt about 1 Tbs butter and saute garlic for 1 min. Next add sliced shallots and saute until soft, about 3-4 mins – I usually add some salt to bring out the flavor of the onion and garlic. If the pan starts to get dry, add a little water or white wine instead of more butter. This will save you from adding extra fat to your dishes!

While your shallots are cooking, grab your kale by the stem and strip the leaves from the stem with your hands. I like to save the stems and use them later in my veggie juices! Using your hands again, tear the kale into small pieces and place in your skillet. Stir in the kale and a splash of white wine and let cook for another 2-3 mins until slightly wilted.  Add more white wine and sea salt as needed.

Part 3 – Assembly:

Place your kale in a large serving bowl and toss lightly with a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette (this is optional but highly recommended as the vinaigrette adds a lovely zing to the dish!). Next, add your sweet potatoes and give them a quick toss with the kale.  Finally, top with crumbles of chevre style goat cheese and it’s ready to serve. Talk about YUM!! This dish is sooooooooooo good! I promise it will change your mind about the almighty kale!!

Delicious Kale Salad + health benefits of Kale and why it's excellent for weight loss! via Linda Wagner blog

This makes a wonderful holiday dish and is perfect for entertaining. It can also work as a meal by itself! I hope you enjoy, let me know what you think!

*If you need to purchase excellent quality spices, my favorite online store is having a 20% SALE on all of their Simply Organic brand and Frontier Natural brand spices! Feel free to also use my discount code WAG472 to get an extra $5 off your first order + free shipping on orders of $20 or more and $10 off your first order of $40 of more!

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