In the wake of the AREDS studies, which looked at macular degeneration nutrition, kale stood out as the best natural source of micronutrients – lutein and zeazanthin – for macular support.
One cup of kale contains 24mg of macular-boosting lutein and zeazanthin. (That's twice the level of these nutrients contained in supplements). Close on its heels is spinach at 20mg, while broccoli had much lower levels of these important micronutrients (1.6mg).
So, kale is officially a superfood when it comes to macular health, but it can put some people off if they haven’t tried it before. With Macular Degeneration awareness week coming from 21st to 27th May, we thought we’d put together 3 of our favourite ways to make kale delicious! Enjoy!
Jim’s Crispy Kale Chips
- Wash and thoroughly dry half a head of green kale. This is widely available in green grocers and supermarkets and is often organic, which is even better.
- Tear out the stalks and discard
- Tear the kale leaves into strips about 2-3 cm wide.
- Arrange them on a baking tray.
- Sprinkle with a good quality cooking oil such as peanut oil or rice bran oil.
- Add a shake of salt (unless you are on a low-sodium diet)
- Bake in a hot oven (190 C) for 12-15 minutes. (You’ll know when it’s ready by the most delicious smell from your oven).
- Try and keep them for yourself! (This is hard work – even kids that despise greens like these).
Arianna’s Heavenly Kale Salad
- Wash and dry half a head of green kale
- Remove the stalks and discard
- Roll the kale leaves up like cigars and slice into narrow strips
Toss with a selection of the following:
- 1 cup of steamed edamame beans or 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Half a red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ cup diced cucumber
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup diced yellow nectarine
- 1 cup diced steamed pumpkin or sweet potato
- A sprinkle of dried cranberries or other dried berries (The possibilities are endless!)
Spritz with a light dressing of oil and vinegar and enjoy.
Nicki’s Winter Kale Soup
- Wash and thinly slice a large leek and cook in olive oil until soft
- Add 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed (to taste)
- Add 1 large peeled, chopped white potato
- Add ½ - 1 head of green kale leaves, washed and torn into strips
- Add 1.5 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
- Season well with salt and black pepper
- Bring to boil and reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes are soft (approx. 20-25 minutes)
- Blend in pot with a stick mixer
- Optional: Sprinkle with croutons or oven-crisp sliced almonds
- Enjoy with crusty bread