Benefits of Dark Leafy Greens
(with Kale & Sweet Potato Powerbowl recipe)
Dark leafy greens are the superstars of phytonutrients and we want to share some great benefits of including them in your everyday meals! One of our favourite dark leafy greens is kale because it is nutrient dense and contains a complex of many vitamins and minerals. Kale is a rich antioxidant due to its dark pigment which is why we call it a phytonutrient. The antioxidants in kale help protect our bodies against oxidative damage that we come into contact with through free radicals. Oxidative damage is one of the leading factors that causes aging and many diseases. That is why it is so important to consume many antioxidants and richly pigmented phytonutrients!
Kale can be cooked, made into chips for a snack, or used for nutritious meals as a side or main component of the dish. An easy way to incorporate kale into your day is through this power bowl with sweet potatoes and fresh garlic dressing.
Recipe: Servings 5-6
- Kale (approx. 7 cups chopped)
- 2-3 Small sweet potatoes (about 4 cups)
- Spices for sweet potatoes: 1tbsp paprika, 1tsp turmeric, 1tsp garlic powder, sprinkle of nutritional yeast, ¼ tsp salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for kale
- 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic
- 1 cup unsalted Cashews
Topping Ideas: (optional)
- ¼ cup Dried cranberries
- Optional: roasted chickpeas, grilled chicken or protein of choice, hemp hearts
- Preheat your oven to 375 F
- While oven preheats, soak cashews in a bowl for at least 20 minutes and chop up sweet potatoes into small sections or cubes (about 1 inch)
- Pour olive oil over sweet potatoes and toss with all spices
- Once the oven is ready, place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet on one side and add the fresh garlic on the other side. Cook for 15 minutes and remove the garlic, then keep cooking the sweet potatoes for 20-23 minutes or until the sweet potato is fully cooked and starting to get crisp on the outer edges.
- While the sweet potato is in the oven, it is best to prepare the dressing for the kale. Drain the cashews and place in a food processor or blender. Add in all other ingredients for the dressing and blend until smooth or desired consistency.
- Put the kale pieces into a large bowl and use the 1 tbsp of olive oil to massage into the kale leaves. You can do this for 5-10 minutes. Then add the dressing once that step is complete.
- Once the sweet potato is done cooking, place it in the bowl with the kale and toss together.