During the past several years, kale has become a favorite “superfood” vegetable around the world. Despite its meteoric rise to prominence, kale has always been a favorite food of farmers because it grows fast, resists frost, and requires very little fertilizer.1 Kale is a winter vegetable, so now is a great time to start including it in your meals.
Nutritionally speaking, kale is a rock star, boasting high amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin K. It’s also a rich source of phytonutrients, including the flavonoid kaempferol. Epidemiological studies associate kaempferol consumption with reduced rates of several degenerative diseases and numerous preclinical studies have shown kaempferol to have a wide range of pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective.2
In this recipe, we’re pairing kale with almonds. Like all seeds, almonds contain phytic acid, a chelating “antinutrient” with a propensity for binding with calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, thereby inhibiting the absorption of these critical minerals.3 You can reduce the phytic acid by soaking the almonds in water for at least eight hours or, preferably, 24. From a culinary perspective, this also improves the taste and texture of the almonds.
Helpful hint: Soak one or two cups of almonds, then discard the soaking water, pat-dry the almonds with a kitchen towel, and store them in your refrigerator for 5 – 7 days. Not only will you always have some handy for a recipe, but also for a quick, nutritious snack.
- 3 – 4 kale leaves
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- ½-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
- ½ cup almonds, soaked at least 8 hours
- ½ lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Christopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, Nutritional Grail.
1. Straight, K. (July 20, 2014). Rub of the Greens. ABC News. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2014/s4049600.htm
2. Calderón-Montaño, JM, et al. (April 2011). A review on the dietary flavonoid kaempferol. Mini Reviews in Medical Chemistry, 11(4). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21428901
3. Torre, M, et al. (1991). Effects of dietary fiber and phytic acid on mineral availability. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 30(1). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1657026