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kale chips

5 Greens You Can Eat to Your Heart’s Content (Kale Not Included)

Written on August 1, 2014 at 10:27 am , by

Written by Macklin Stern, editorial intern

Brace yourselves, FITNESS readers: A global kale shortage may be coming.

Are you still breathing?

Apparently kale is a lot more popular now than it was in 2012 (310 percent more popular, according to recent research from GrubHub), meaning our favorite leafy green may not be as readily available in the near future.

But don’t worry. We’re taking the necessary precautions to help our fellow green freaks cope. We’ve even placed “Kale missing; Reward: happiness and health” signs all over Manhattan (just kidding—though we would if it would help).

We also turned to nutrition expert Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., FITNESS advisory board member, to give us the scoop on some alternative green superfoods that provide similar benefits to kale. All are packed with Vitamin K, which promotes bone health; zeaxanthin and lutein, which are vital for eye health; and iron, which helps carry oxygen throughout the body. And because they’re so good for you (and so low-cal), Bonci suggests eating a cup of these raw veggies each day (or 1/3 cup cooked). Get ready to fill that crisper!

Collard greens: Sauté some onions, toss in a little curry, add a few golden raisins, and you’ve got your next mouth-watering way to gnaw on these babies. “It provides a sweetness that counteracts the natural bitterness of this green,” explains Bonci.

Mustard greens: Into eggs? Try some mustard green frittatas. “I usually take a bunch of different vegetables and egg to hold it together, and then spread about 1/3-cup of  store-bought bruschetta sauce over the top,” she says.

Turnip greens: ”You can take on a Middle Eastern dish, like Sleek (a dish typically full of kale, bulgar wheat and black-eyed peas), but instead of making it with kale, add turnip greens,” she says. “You can sauté it in olive oil, then add in the traditional ingredients. It’s wonderful.”

Spinach: Sprinkle on some lemon olive oil or orange olive oil to bring out the flavor, recommends Bonci. “Doing this won’t bring back those images that people have of slimy spinach in the cafeteria, which is why most people don’t eat it,” she says. Yep, we remember.

Swiss chard: Throw some in a skillet and add a little lemon zest to amp up the “yum” factor, explains Bonci. Then you can use it to build your favorite lunch salad. Easy peasy.

If you do manage to get your hands on some kale and need an extra crunch, learn how to make some scrumptious kale chips. No need for greasy potato chips here.

Photo by Lisa Shin

More from FITNESS:

Get to Know Your Greens

It’s Easy to Be Green: Healthy Recipes for Green Smoothies

Go Green: Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

 

3 Tasty New Takes on Kale Chips

Written on April 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm , by

Written by Jordan Clifford, editorial intern

Do you ever tire of the same old snacks, day after day? I know I do. I mean, don’t get me wrong, a drizzle of olive oil and dash of sea salt over crispy kale can really hit the spot (and help me skip the vending machine), but sometimes a girl’s got to shake it up without packing on calories.

But first, let’s clear up some confusion. Kale is the superfood of the season, or at least it was until earlier this year, when talk of its relationship to hypothyroidism had the media abuzz thanks to a New York Times opinion piece titled “Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead.” But fear not! Kale is still king, albeit in moderation. “Only extremely high intakes of cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, may have a connection to hypothyroidism,” says culinary nutritionist and author of The With or Without Meat Cookbook Jackie Newgent, RDN. “As long as you’re eating kale within a balanced eating plan, there’s absolutely no need to worry about thyroid issues by way of veggies.” Phew! Kale is naturally rich in Vitamin C, beta-carotene, glucosinolates and flavonoids, making it an excellent pick for reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and chronic inflammation, explains Newgent. In fact, kale is so nutrient-rich she suggests eating at least two to three servings (about one cup per serving) a week, especially if you’re not getting other cruciferous veggies. So go ahead, munch away!

Never made your own batch? No sweat—here’s your how-to video on whipping up the classic variety. Ready to kick it up a notch? Check out the recipes below. Happy snacking!

Carrot Curry Kale Chips

Calories: 100

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces cut kale leaves (stems and stalks removed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tea bags Numi Organics Carrot Curry Savory Tea
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Wash kale leaves and air dry (for best results leaves need to be completely dry.) Combine kale, olive oil, salt, pepper and contents of tea bags in a large bowl; mix well. Evenly spread kale on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 min (or until chips are toasted).

Recipe and photo courtesy of Numi Organic Tea

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