Make Room for this Super Food in Your Diet

 

kale, kale saled, dried cranberries, pine nuts, easy to grow in garden, healthy, anti-oxidants, gourmet salad

Kale – Deliciously Healthy Salad

We know…there’s a new “super” food every other day, but kale is one that you should certainly add to your grocery list.

One of the healthiest vegetables on the planet, kale offers an incredible array of benefits.  And it has a benefit that you may not think of at first: it’s tasty.  At least it is when you prepare it well!

So why eat kale?  Why not stick with your old iceberg lettuce?  Unlike lettuce, which is  mostly water, kale is packed with an impressive list of nutrients.  It has over 45 different flavonoids, with include kaempferol and quercetin.  It’s not important to necessarily know these specific flavonoids – but you’ll want to know about the benefits to your health.  They combine the power of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.  Green leafy kale has been shown to have the following benefits:

•It lowers cholesterol, especially if you steam it.
•It lowers the risk of at least five different types of cancer, including cancers of the bladder, colon, ovary, breast, and prostate.
•It detoxes the body at a genetic level.  Everyone can use a good cleanse, and besides being good for the body itself, it is excellent for a healthy appearance.  Yes, kale can help your natural beauty shine a little brighter.
•Kale can help prevent chronic inflammation.
•It can help us avoid oxidative stress, which is a factor in things like heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

An added benefit: kale is very easy to grow and is a hardy plant. Some varieties even take a frost or two and keep producing wonderful leaves.  Whether you plant it or buy it, though, cooking it properly is essential.  As mentioned, steaming it is great.  Add a little butter and you have an excellent side dish.  You can eat it raw, chopped small, in salads.  You can eat it
in soups or baked dishes where you would use spinach.  You can sauté it in butter and garlic…the list is endless and delicious.

This recipe for kale chips will get you started.  You will need:

kale, curly leaf kale, garden, cabbage family, anti-oxidant plant, cabbage family, healthy, grow it easily in your garden

Curly Leaf Kale

•    A bunch of kale.
•    A tablespoon of olive oil.
•    A teaspoon of seasoned salt.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Get rid of the stems (the stems can be a bit tough and woody) and tear the leaves into pieces that are just bite-sized.  Wash the kale, and dry it with a salad spinner or paper towel.  Then drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake them for about 10-15 minutes or until the edges are brown.  They’ll satisfy a need for crunch, like a potato chip, but your body will like it a whole lot better.

The Appeal of Fun Cupcakes is Ageless

 

Adults may like to think they are mature and sophisticated, but kids know the truth.  They know as soon as you put a cupcake dressed up and decorated to look like Cookie Monster or a dog paw in front of them, any grown-up will reveal his true self and dig right in.  They don’t even care if they get blue frosting on their faces.  If you are looking for a fun project and an even more fun dessert for yourself – we mean, for your kids – try some great cupcakes.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

A kid favorite, these are easy to make, and even easier to enjoy.  You will need:

ice,cream,cone,cupcakes,recipe,dessert,fun,kids,adults,sundae

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

  • Sugar cones.
  • Cake mix.
  • Butter cream frosting and chocolate frosting.
  • Gel cake decorating icing.
  • Chopped peanuts.
  • Maraschino cherries.
  • Sprinkles.

Start by mixing your cake batter.  Set aside and remove the center of a 12 inch tube pan and then cover the pan with two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Use a bamboo skewer to poke small holes in foil, about 2 1/2 inches apart.  Put a sugar cone in each hole.  Push the cone down until about 1 inch of the cone is showing.

Spoon about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cake batter into each cone.  Put the cones in the oven and bake at 350 degrees, rotating the pan about halfway through the cooking.  Test the batter with a toothpick.  When it comes out clean, you’re done.  This should take about 20 minutes (but start checking earlier).

Let the cupcakes cool completely before decorating.  You can then use your butter cream frosting, sprinkles, and toppings to create a fun sundae look.

An Apple a Day

This one is cute and easy as well.  You will need:

  • Red frosting
  • Mini pretzel sticks
  • Melted chocolate
  • Green gumdrop leaves
  • Gummy worms

After you have baked and cooled the cupcakes (white or vanilla cakes work best), frost them with the bright red frosting.  Dip a pretzel stick into melted chocolate and let it harden.  Insert this into the cupcake – this will be your apple’s stem.  Add the gumdrop leaf (you can also craft one from green frosting).  Now, cut a little bit out of the cupcake and put your gummy worm into this hole. You can see a picture here (http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/a-is-for-apple-cupcake-685687/).

You can find recipe after recipe for great cupcakes.  So if you are looking to shake up dessert, this is the answer you’ve been searching for.