It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for the first installment of Meg’s Kitchen, our weekly segment where your learn how to use the foods in your kitchen to produce radiant beauty results!
Today’s superfood special is kale.
Familiar with kale? It’s a dark leafy green, known for its extraordinary health benefits (it‘s one of the healthiest foods in the world!) and bitter taste. Green leafy vegetables (called cruciferous vegetables) are famous among celebrities as skin-savers and glow replenishers.
Bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor swears by eating generous helpings of leafy greens to keep her skin clear and healthy. Says Kareena to Vogue India on her beauty secret: “I am a vegetarian and believe in eating lots of green vegetables, like spinach, fenugreek, and broccoli.”
Kale is arguably the healthiest among the leafy greens.
- Kale is rich in antioxidant flavonoids, which help clear the body of damaging free radicals.
- It is a good source of naturally occurring omega-3‘s, giving kale beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.
- Kale’s fibrous structure and phytochemicals make it a brilliant detox ingredient for anyone looking to keep their system regular and sprightly! Consistent detoxification of the body means moving harmful chemicals and free radicals away from your organs (including your skin); kale has also shown to have anti-cancer properties for this reason.
How can you include kale in your diet?
Food Network’s own Indian-origin chef Aarti Sequiera developed a wildly popular kale recipe for her show “Aarti Party”; her Massaged Kale Salad (with mango!) uses a clever and simple technique to get rid of kale’s bitter taste while preserving all of its healthy benefits.
Massaged Kale Salad by Aarti Sequiera
- 1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
- Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons
In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.
Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.
I made this salad just recently and it was very well-received! I reduced the amount of oil used in the dressing, however.
Another great way to consume kale is to make kale chips. Kale chips are yummy, full of nutritious Vitamins A, C, K, calcium and magnesium, AND are loved by kids! (In fact, kale’s calcium content makes it a great addition to the diets of those who are lactose intolerant.)
The internet is full of recipes for kale chips, some including fresh lemon, others a happy sprinkling of cayenne pepper or garlic powder. Play around with it and figure out how you like it.