I know how challenging getting fruits and veggies into your diet on a daily basis can be.
First, sometimes veggies can be a little more time consuming to prepare than some other foods. You've got to wash, peel, chop, cut, steam, or saute, and many times this is a lot more than some people can fit into their busy schedules.
Second, there are a lot of different vegetables that are wonderful for our health and can really help burn off body fat, but people just don't enjoy the taste.
I'm going to share one of my favorite foods and how I've made it a delicious part of my healthy eating plan...
Kale is "all the rage" these days. If there was a vegetable equivalent to the captain of the football team, kale would be it!
The good news is kale is a health warrior like no other vegetable. It is jam-packed with vitamin C (for helping keep the immune system strong), loaded with beta carotene (to keep skin healthy and ward off skin cancer), and loaded with tons of calcium (which is wonderful especially for those who are worried they are not getting enough calcium when eliminating dairy products from their eating plan). Not to mention it is full of fiber, which helps you feel full faster and keep your bowels moving at a regular pace each day (two very important components to weight loss).
With all these health benefits, what could be the bad news?
Unfortunately many people just don't love the taste of kale. Now I'm not the right person to ask when it comes to the taste of veggies, because I am a diehard lover of all veggies (always was), but my dear hubby, who just does not appreciate many green things, described his feeling about kale in this way, "Eating the grass in our backyard might be tastier." You gotta love his honesty, right?
So here are 3 ways my hubby, my sons, and I all enjoy kale...not necessarily on a daily basis, but a minimum of 2-3 days per week.
1. Kale Chips
Making kale chips is easy. Tear the leaves into pieces and toss with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F until crisp; 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure to monitor your chips while they are cooking so as not to burn them.
My son and I are happy to snack on these throughout the day. You can combine them with some raw nuts and they'll really help you get that snacking "crunch" you may be missing in your eating plan.
2. Chicken Vegetable Soup with Kale
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 3/4 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked chicken, skinned and cubed
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (optional)
- 1 cup chopped kale, stem removed (about one large leaf)
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and carrot. Saute until vegetables are tender; 5-8 minutes.
- Add thyme and garlic. Saute for one more minute.
- Add chicken broth or water, tomatoes, cooked rice, chicken, and kale.
- Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
I love to eat this soup just as it is described. My son, on the other hand, loves for me to put the soup in the blender and make a "creamy" soup instead. My hubby will eat this soup but will almost always eat around the kale. I figure he is still getting a lot of the benefits of the kale in the broth (you just can't win them all, can you?), but he also enjoys the creamed version I make for my son.
3. Morning Green Drink
- 1/2 pear
- 4-5 green grapes
- 1/4 banana
- 1/2 cup kale
- 1/2 - 1 cup water
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Stevia or raw honey to taste
- Place all ingredients in a blender on High. Enjoy immediately.
You can vary the ingredients (adding more or less of each fruit or kale) to suit your taste. I am very good at making sure to eat breakfast each morning, but my husband tends to jump out of bed and want to race out the door, so this is a fast breakfast option you can take with you. This is a great way to start your morning along with a good serving of protein to go along with it (raw nuts, cottage cheese, or some hard boiled eggs).
If veggies are still really not "your thing," you may want to look into one of my favorite "greens drinks" to ensure you're getting all of your recommended vitamins and nutrients each and every day. Not only do I love the taste, but the ingredients are all organic and minimally processed. This is the only greens drink I trust to take myself and give to my entire family.
Enjoy your Kale!