Kale has been dubbed “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse” - and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle, detox, or improve energy and endurance, you can get it all from this amazing superfood. The nutritional value of kale is amplified when added to other foods, such as butternut squash and red onions, which you’ll find in this week’s Healthy January recipe. The beauty of kale is that it’s good for the body both cooked and eaten raw – so there’s really no excuse not to eat your greens!
Even though kale has hundreds of health benefits, I want to share with you my top five reasons to get some curly kale in your life, and I’ll make it easy to get started with my favourite quick, nutritious winter dish.
1. It’s a great anti-inflammatory food.
Just like the trusty beetroot, which we met in my previous blog post, kale is an anti-inflammatory superfood. One serving contains 121 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 milligrams of omega-6. It’s the perfect choice for a healthier start to 2018!
2. Kale is high in iron.
Kale is definitely the new beef: per calorie, kale has more iron! Essential for good health, iron plays an important role in the formation of haemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen around the body, cell growth, and healthy liver function.
3. Kale is high in vitamin K.
Kale is an amazing source of vitamin K, a key nutrient for helping regulate our body's inflammatory process. It also plays a vital role in blood clotting, healthy skin and hair, heart health, and it also works with calcium to maintain strong bones.
4. It’s filled with powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, part of a group rich in nutrients that are studied by cancer researchers. Other vegetables in this family include broccoli, horseradish, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
5. Kale is low in calories, high in fibre and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, and 0 grams of fat! It's especially helpful in aiding in digestion due to a high content of fibre. It’s also packed with many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium.
Richard’s Fried Rice with Kale, Squash & Cashew Nuts
· 100g loosely cooked brown rice
· 20g carrots, diced
· 15g celery, diced
· 20g red onion, diced
· 30g curly kale leaves, torn (stalks can be finely diced and added to the dish)
· 15g cashew nuts
· 20g butternut squash, diced & roasted
· 6g crushed ginger and garlic
· 5g chopped fresh chilli
· 2tsp light soya sauce
· 1tsb olive oil
· Salt and pepper
· 2 whole eggs, beaten
· Heat oil in frying pan. Add the diced onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and ginger, and sauté for a short time as you want to keep your vegetables crunchy.
· Add eggs and scramble, then add your rice and additional ingredients. Stir to mix, and ensure rice is heated through.
· Season to taste and serve garnished with fresh chilli and spring onion (optional)
Need more delicious inspiration for Healthy January? Book your table in The Brasserie at Hyde Park and try our fantastic selection of healthy dishes, or treat yourself to our Afternoon Teatox for a guilt-free afternoon tea experience overlooking Hyde Park!