As a Type 2 diabetic, it's important to eat a wide variety of foods, especially those coming from colorful fruits and vegetables. Among the infinite array of produce available at the market, there are a few superfoods with a particularly high concentration of antioxidants that are beneficial to eat on a regular basis. Kale is one such superfood.
Kale, the leafy green vegetable often used as a garnish on buffet trays, contains more flavor, depth, and nutrients than most other leafy greens, and it should be a regular part of any diabetic's meal rotation. It's loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as trace minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron – minerals often severely deficient in the Standard American Diet. And it's a great source of fiber, so it will fill you up and stave off mid-day cravings. And adding kale to your weekly meals can help stabilize your blood sugar, so it's a major perk for Type 2 diabetics.
Kale is a great year-round vegetable because it grows through the winter season. As part of the cruciferous family, its vegetable relatives include broccoli and cauliflower – yet unlike those hardy winter vegetables, kale can be used as any other lettuce you're more familiar with. It's extremely versatile in recipes, as it can be cooked into savory dishes, like beef stew, or in sweet and citrus dishes, like an orange cranberry salad.
So what are some ways to try out kale in the kitchen? Here are a few simple recipe ideas to get you started …
- make an easy raw salad – toss together thinly sliced kale and red onions with dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and a sprinkling of feta cheese. Add a homemade vinaigrette of olive oil and fresh lemon juice and your salad is done!
- sauté a bunch of chopped kale and minced garlic in olive oil until softened. Add a helpful of raisins and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and you have an amazing supper side dish in minutes.
- add a few leaves of kale to any whole grain sandwich, along with a zesty mustard, and you have a fiber-packed lunch for taking on the road.
- make kale chips! Toss chopped kale leaves in a tablespoon or two of olive oil with a healthy pinch of sea salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Bake at 300 ° F for about 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes, and allow to crisp. Yum!
- simmer large pieces of kale in a small amount of apple juice, then add fresh lemon zest and crushed walnuts for a savory anytime side dish.