Have you had your kale today? A few years ago I didn’t even know what this green cruciferous vegetable was, now it shows up frequently in our kitchen. There are three variations of kale; curly, lacinato, and ornamental. I use curly kale the most as it is the easiest to find in my local grocery store.
Kale is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, I like to think of kale as a broom sweeping the intestines clean. It does this because kale is an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamins K and A, and water-soluble vitamin C.
Vitamins A and K are fat-soluble vitamins which means they are stored in our fatty tissues and liver there by leaving the body at a much slower rate than the water-soluble vitamins.
Vitamin A is essential for eye and skin health, aids in the formation of bones and teeth and protects us against colds, flu and other infections!
Vitamin K is needed for the production of prothrombin, which is used for blood clotting. It also may prevent osteoporosis by synthesizing osteocalin, which is the protein found in bone tissue on which calcium crystallizes. Vitamin K plays an important role in the intestines too, converting glucose into glycogen which is stored in the liver, promoting healthy liver function.
In other words, these little fat-soluble vitamins are very important to our bodies!
Kale offers 419mcg of vitamin K which is off the charts in recommended daily value percentages. Vitamin A packs a powerful punch at 4243IU in one cup, which is 85% of our recommended daily values. Perfect food to have in the house now that
germs school is about to begin!
Water-soluble vitamins leave the body quickly and need to be replaced more often. Our primary water-soluble vitamin is none other than vitamin C.
Vitamin C: Kale packs 53 grams of vitamin C per cup, that is 88% of our recommended daily value! Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that mops up and kills free radicals and helps to prevent further damage to our little cells. Vitamin C also gives our immune systems a much-needed boost. Since school is about to start, I am insuring that we are getting our dose of immune system boosters, using kale as one of the main sources in my smoothies. Smoothies are the best way for me to get my kids to eat 1-2 cups of kale without thinking twice about it (no whining)
Kale has many other nutrients but another particularly important one for our kiddos is calcium, why am I so interested in calcium? Glad you asked! Two of our three kids do not drink milk at all or eat much dairy, and our oldest only has milk on his cereal which is not every day. By today’s standards dairy is the number one way to get calcium. I disagree, are you surprised? Those that know me should not be. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of calcium.
Kale offers 93mg of calcium per cup. That is 9% of our recommended daily value. It’s a good start and when combined with a smoothie, my kids are loaded up on their calcium.
Ok, now that I reached WAY back to all those science classes I took so long ago, my brain hurts. Let’s get to that smoothie!
Kid Approved Peanut Butter Curly Kale Smoothie!
2 cups vanilla almond milk
2 cups curly kale
2 tbs of organic peanut butter
1 tbs raw honey
Handful of ice
Blend in a high-speed blender, although not 100% necessary to have, a high-speed blender breaks down the kale completely leaving no leafy green pieces floating behind!
Calcium in this smoothie is over 100% of our recommended daily values. Good to know!
*Vitamin references taken from “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” by Phyllis A. Balch
*Recommended daily values taken from “The World’s Healthiest Foods” by George Mateljan