Haven't heard of kale? It's time to hit google, stat! This leafy green has been taking the beauty and health world by storm, from green juices to kale salad, and there's no stopping it. Part of the cabbage family, kale is one of the most nutritious verdant vegetables you can eat. And Beauties, we all want what greens deliver: insanely gorgeous, glowing, beautiful skin, and a healthy tummy! We wanted to know more about this wonder veggie, so we had a chat with nutritionist and author of The Eat, Drink, and Be Gorgeous Project: 3 Months to a New You, Esther Blum, to find out exactly what it can do for you and the best way to get your daily intake.
In short, Esther is addicted to kale. "As a self-professed queen of greens, I hail to kale on a weekly basis," exclaims Esther. "Kale is alkalizing in the body, and facilitates the liver's ability to detoxify environmental toxins. It's saturated with antioxidants like vitamin C—which is responsible for collagen production under the skin's surface—and it's also rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A, which helps clear up acne-prone skin and heal blemishes." It’s also been proven to reduce chances of cancer, lower cholesterol, and helps your body to process other foods!
So, it heals blemishes, encourages cell reproduction (which means that your skin heals faster and looks young and clear) and detoxifies your body. What's not to like? But how to eat this magical food? "I like to enjoy kale in two different ways," says Esther. “One is kale chips, which I am am completely obsessed with. It's hard not to eat an entire container full! Just go easy, as they can have a laxative effect. Secondly, I love to get my kale fix blended into a smoothie. It makes the perfect breakfast, and you can't even taste it!”
Baked Kale Chips
Rip, wash, and dry the leaves off a kale stalk (however much you would like) and spread on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle the leaves with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Bake for an hour at 100 degrees F. Although it sounds like a long time, low heat won’t kill as many enzymes, so the chips are healthier for you.
Toss two to three cups of pre-washed raw kale leaves into a blender with a banana, one teaspoon of cocoa powder, and two scoops of chocolate whey protein. Mix and enjoy!