It’s time for the best Sunday of the year – the Super Bowl! And while this day is often loaded with unhealthy chips, appetizers and pizzas, there are delicious alternatives that can replace those not-so-slimming snacks.
If you wander the aisles of any health food store, you will find kale chips lining the shelves. Why are they such a popular new food item? Well, because they are chock-full of nutrients that make the body feel good. Below is a list of the health benefits of kale, and read on for my own Sesame Peanut Kale Chips recipe.
1. Loaded with vitamins and minerals. The bulk of this healthy green is vitamin K, which plays a significant role in anti-inflammation, bone density and growth, blood clot formation, and brain and nervous system function. Kale is also loaded with vitamin A and helps to prevent cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. It also protects the reproductive system and prevents drying of the skin. Vitamin C is also included in this vitamin heavy category. This wonderful vitamin fights the common cold, lowers blood pressure, and boosts the immune system.
2. Full of anti-oxidants. These help to keep the body’s oxygen metabolism moving. When the body is compromised of anti-oxidants it can lead to a problem called “oxidative stress”, causing nervous system damage and leading to serious illnesses including cancers, heart disease, psychiatric disorders, and fatigue. Kale also has anti-inflammatory properties, preventing long-term inflammation. When oxidative stress and inflammation combine, there is a higher risk of developing cancer. Studies have shown by increasing your intake of kale, it can help to reduce the chance of developing colon cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and bladder cancer. So eat up!
3. Good for your heart. Not only does kale keep cholesterol at bay, it can reduce chances of developing heart ailments. Kale is filled with manganese, a powerful mineral that can reduce the chances of elevated blood pressure and heart disease. Heart healthy indeed!
4. Aids in digestion. Kale helps boost the digestive system because it is filled with fiber. It also protects the lining of the stomach, which can be damaged by overly acidic foods and stress.
5. Detoxes the body. Detox is a word often thrown around, but this vegetable truly does the trick. Kale regulates the cells that break down toxins in the body, reducing harmful food and substances that have entered the body.
So, instead of running to your local health food store for a bag, I encourage you to make your own for a fresh taste and crunch on Super Bowl Sunday! Skip those chips and make a snack that protects your body and tastes good too.
Skinny Minnie Sesame Peanut Kale Chips
- 16 ounces of fresh kale, washed, stem removed, and chopped into large pieces. Make pieces the size of your palm. (They will shrink quite a bit after baking in the oven.)
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup of rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of natural honey
- 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of light sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of roasted white sesame seeds
In a small bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper; whisk vigorously. Take the freshly washed, chopped kale and place in a large freezer bag. Pour the peanut marinade over the kale in the bag and give it a shake, coating all the pieces. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, and space the kale evenly. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 3 hours. Serve in a super bowl and crunch away!
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