How to Make Kale Tea Recipe and Health, Digestion Warnings

Updated on February 9, 2018
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This author has written several other nutrition articles. Drop by the little, orange and white resource house on the separate profile page.

This page is about kale; including nutrition and diet information (especially concerning lutein, zeaxanthin, AMD), resources for kale recipes, and an extremely easy recipe for kale tea.

If you are here just for the kale tea recipe, it is approximately a little less than halfway down the page.

Kale

Typical Kale in the Produce Section
Typical Kale in the Produce Section | Source

What Is Kale and Availability – The Basics

Kale is a dark, green, leafy vegetable from the cabbage family; other examples being cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. However, keeping in mind the caveats in the recipe section, kale can also be regarded as a lettuce for most salad purposes.

Kale is one of those foods which is often included in what might be called the super food or wonder food group. The nutritional content, and the benefits derived therefrom, makes this a food one wants as part of their regular diet.

In addition to it's nutritional value, there is growing evidence kale actually inhibits and can even fight some diseases; most notable of these being macular degeneration, cataracts, and some forms of cancer.

Store Availability and Forms

Any competent grocery store will have it. You can buy kale fresh and whole in the produce section. Or, if your store is doing their job right, you can buy it already in pieces, shredded, sliced, diced, minced, etc.

For a food so rich in nutritional value and benefits, the price is amazingly low. If the price isn't low, find another store.

Nutrition Information and Benefits

Percentages and amounts (in milligrams) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and 3.3 oz. kale servings. "~" means approximate.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin: ~600%. These are the two nutrients that have made kale famous. The body of evidence continues to mount that lutein and zeaxanthin actually inhibits and/or wards off macular degeneration. There is even some evidence lutein and zeaxanthin can reverse macular degeneration to some extent. Kale is the number one food source for lutein. Spinach is usually recognized as coming in second. You can buy lutein in pill form, but the FDA states they have not confirmed the quantity or quality of lutein in these products. The generally accepted daily dosage for lutein is 6 mg. The average American diet falls woefully short of this. A 3.3 oz. serving of kale has ~37 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Beta Carotene: ~7 mg. An antioxidant, precursor that converts to vitamin A. Antioxidants are generally believed to help prevent certain kinds of cancer.

Potassium: 420 mg. 12%.

Calcium: 15%.

Iron: 8%.

Vitamin K: 950%.

Vitamin A: 290%.

Vitamin C: 190%.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 6%.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 8%.

Niacin (Vitamin B3): 4%.

Vitamin B6: 15%

Folate aka Folic Acid (Vitamin B9): 6%.

Phosphorus: 6%.

Magnesium: 8%.

Copper: 15%.

Manganese: 35%.

Recipe Information and Resources

Kale Salad Candidate

Source

Kale Stew Candidate

Source

Recipe Basics

Kale requires a little more chewing effort than the other cabbage-category items or lettuce. It also has a tendency to make a person feel full sooner than usual. One might want to adjust portions accordingly, particularly as to salads.

Salad Recipe Resources

Pretty much any salad recipe is a kale recipe. If you are looking for salad recipes suitable for kale, they can be found under the vegetables recipes section of this food and recipe site. Each has a picture showing exactly what the recipe is creating. It is immediately apparent which ones can also be considered as kale recipes.

About Cooked Kale

Cooking kale almost doubles the amount of lutein metabolized. This has to do with the heating process unlocking certain components of the kale molecular structure, releasing lutein which would otherwise not be available to the digestive system. It should be mentioned that cooking/boiling/heating usually degrades the nutritional value of most food. The kale-lutein molecular structure is unusual in this respect.

Casserole, Stew, Chili Recipe Resources

Virtually all casserole, stew, and chili recipes can include the addition of kale. However, with these dishes, the determining factor is how much kale do you wish to include with the existing recipes' ingredients.

If your objective is one of nutrition only, then you would add only so much kale. If, however, you are creating a true kale casserole or true kale Stew or chili dish; then you would add enough to result in making kale the predominant taste. It is a matter of degree only you can decide.

In either case, this is where the sliced/diced/minced/max-shredded form is used. Stems and full leaves are not recommended.

As with the salad recipes, the pictures quickly delineate the kale-suitable recipes.

Kale Chips Recipe

Kale chips are beginning to become well known. They could very well be the healthiest snack food in existence. They are easy to make.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and completely dry the kale.
  3. Pick off the leaves and spread across your cookie sheet or aluminum foil on grill.
  4. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
  5. Add whatever seasonings you like; such as salt, seasoned salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, curry powder, etc.
  6. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it. When the edges have turned brown, you are done. Note, you don't want burnt, just brown.
  7. You won't be able to eat just one.

The Tea Recipe

And a health warning.

Easy Kale Tea Recipe

Do you want the nutrition, but don't want to deal with the recipes and cooking? Many people just drink kale tea.

Kale tea is not difficult to make, though do note the following health warning and other relevant information at the end of this segment and in the next section.

  1. Put 2 or 3 medium-to-large pieces of kale in a microwaveable cup.
  2. Fill to three-quarters full of water; push the pieces under the water if need be.
  3. Microwave for 4:44 minutes:seconds (your microwave results may vary).
  4. Stir it. Let cool. Stir again.
  5. Remove the medium-to-large pieces.
  6. You have your kale tea. And it's perfectly fine to drink any remaining, little pieces which happen to be floating around; after all, it's kale.

Once you are a pro, you will probably do the following...

  1. Stuff the bottom half of a microwaveable cup full of kale.
  2. Fill to three-quarters full of water; push the pieces under the water if need be.
  3. Microwave for 4:44 minutes:seconds (your microwave results may vary).
  4. Stir it. Let cool. Stir again.
  5. Doesn't bother to remove any of the kale.
  6. Drinks all the liquid.
  7. Empties cup of the remaining kale into trash; or refills cup half full of water, microwaves for another 3:33 minutes:seconds, drinks second cup of weaker tea.

Boiling water. And of course, there is certainly nothing wrong with...

  1. Boiling the water on the stove.
  2. Pouring the water into your prepared cup.
  3. Letting it sit awhile and stir.
  4. Etc.

Keeping in mind the high concentrations of nutrients, don't go overboard. Drink no more than one cup the first time or so. See how your digestion handles it. Might even be a good idea to stay home for awhile.

Health Warning and Other Notes

This is also a good time to mention that too much vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and certain other vitamins and minerals on a regular basis, can actually be deleterious to one's health. On the other hand, even just one ounce of kale is a lot of kale; so you don't have that much to worry about. One full ounce of kale is about a third of the above specified nutritional percentages. Just keep in mind what other foods and liquids you are regularly having.

What with kale tea being so packed with vitamins and minerals, it can be used to replace a meal occasionally in weight loss programs. Kale tea is also a worthy appetite suppressant. For that matter, it would be perfect for use in the infamous Military Diet.

Comments

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    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      14 months ago from Texas

      Thank you Para, I love the Kale chips and will definitely try the tea. I have been drinking the sage tea which is very good, and I just had fresh Kale in my salad, it is good that it is filling then I don't eat that much.

      Blessings my friend

    • profile image

      peter 

      18 months ago

      Was making regular grey tea and i threw in half cup of kale stocks

      and a tea spoon of raw ginger .... not bad

    • profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      2 years ago

      Kale tea is a great idea. I use it in salads and cook it, but never thought to drink it. I'll buy some kale on my next shopping trip and try it out.

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 

      3 years ago from LA

      Here is what I do.

      I blend kale leaves up in brown rice cream, then I gently heat the mixture in an iron pan. Put some soy sauce on it and YUM!

      You can use it as a dip for chips or on rice cakes with aduki beans and yogurt.

      You can also add fresh garlic to the mixture when you blend it, or cilantro, parsley… etc.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 

      4 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi, I started growing Kale about 2 years ago. It grows really good here in my piece of dirt. The second year I ate it about 3 times a week and have never had one cold or been sick from the flu. A few weeks ago I made kale chips and they take the place of potato chips. Thanks for this informative hub.

    • Cheryl Rogers profile image

      Cheryl Rogers 

      4 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Hey there. Thanks for the tip about kale tea. Never thought about making tea with it!

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      4 years ago from India

      Looks like a very nutritious leaf. But I have not seen this here in my part of India.

      Very many uses of a single ingredient.......

      Thanks for sharing this

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      4 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      We had kale for dinner tonight. The kale chips sound great. I will give them a try. Thanks for the great information.

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 

      5 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      kale is gorgeous raw with freshly ground black pepeer, doesn't even have to be cooked. I could graze on raw kale and raw, sugar snap peas all day!

    • jrueff profile image

      Joshua Rueff 

      5 years ago from Kansas City

      Oh I love kale, great article - my wife is on a health food kick and I hope it lasts because I've never felt so healthy - I'll have to share these recipes with her.

      On a side note - speaking of super foods, have you heard of spirulina? I have yet to find any veggie that tops this one, though kale comes pretty darn close.

    • Abbyfitz profile image

      Abbyfitz 

      5 years ago from Florida

      I've heard a lot about kale but haven't been brave enough to try it. I will have to give it a go!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Me again... I did make that cup of Kale Tea last night. It was so good I was amazed. And I was thinking it's cheaper than buying herbal teas. I also had several interesting dreams last night which I remembered when I woke up. Unusual. I wonder if the Kale tea had anything to do with that.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I started eating Kale recently when a friend of mine told me about it. I created my own recipe -- I make mashed potatoes with Kale mixed in. I use frozen Kale from the supermarket that already is chopped and diced. I just boil it and mix it in.

      I like the other ideas that you discussed in this hub. I'll have to give those a try too. As a matter of fact, right now I'm going to try making the Kale tea. Enjoyed your hub. Voted up.

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