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“A cup of chopped raw kale delivers more than 100% of your daily vitamin C, 200% of your daily vitamin A, and more than 600% of your daily vitamin K.” Holy guacamole, how could we not be motivated to eat more kale now? In her enlightening article on summer greens, NTI instructor Sarah Cook, ND, also reminds us that green leafy vegetables are a rich source of B vitamins and the essential minerals magnesium, potassium, and iron. Leafy vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy diet, promoting vitality and detoxification. In addition to providing crucial vitamins and minerals required for cellular function and repair, green leafy vegetables greatly impact our daily health. They help burn fat, prevent aging, support cardiovascular health, fight diabetes, increase gut microbial communities, build enzymes, neutralize toxins, and even protect against sun damage. Have you ever heard of eating your sunscreen? A diet high in leafy greens has been found to provide UV protection at a cellular level through the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Though we know the many benefits greens, such as kale, have to offer, we struggle to incorporate them into our diets. Salads may be the Amazon Prime of leafy green consumption, but they are not the only option for delivering these nutrient powerhouses. Soups, smoothies, juices, fermented favorites like sauerkraut and kimchi, garnishes, wraps, chips and dips are excellent ways to eat your greens! You can easily slip them into your favorite recipes, adding ample nutrition without altering much texture or taste. Spinach is virtually undetectable in smoothies! Go on and give greens a try with our fiercely flavorful, no-fuss kale guacamole!
Why we love it:
Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family and rich in antioxidant nutrients, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates.
Its health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Avocados, although they are fruits, have a high fat content of between 71 to 88%, 2/3 of which are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid.
Avocado have important nutrient benefits, including intake of potassium, vitamin K, vitamin E, fiber and magnesium.
Cilantro, scientifically known as “Coriandrum sativum,” cleanses the body of toxic heavy metals, binding them together by loosening them from tissue and facilitating their elimination from the body.
Cilantro leaves and stems help support healthy liver function and balance blood sugar, making them a valuable tool for diabetes prevention and management.
If you use a food processor to make this, there’s no need to chop the kale fine. If you aren’t using a food processor, be sure to chop the kale and onions very well.
- Juice of 2 limes (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 cups kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons shallot or red onion, chopped (or less to taste)
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 1-2 Serrano or jalapeno, deseeded
- 3 large ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- In the bowl of your food processor, combine the lime juice, kale, onion, cilantro, Serrano and salt. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the avocado and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt or lime juice if necessary.
- Stir in chopped tomato.
- Serve with sliced vegetables and organic corn chips.
(Recipe by Chef Lynda Lacher)
Chef Kylee Snyder is a recent graduate of NTI’s Natural Food Chef Program. She currently leads nutritional cooking classes and provides holistic health coaching that has been known to cause deep affection towards vegetables. Connect with Kylee at www.rendezfoodhhc.com.
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