Australians have developed a new craze for kale, which now costs half the price in supermarkets, but the superfood should still be consumed in moderation.

Kale chips, smoothies, and salads – local venues have had to meet the recent craze for kale, which was once considered cattle fodder.

Like the acai berry, kale has exploded onto the Australian market recently, although varieties have been grown locally for several years.

Since it’s popularity boom, major supermarkets have begun to sell bunches at half the previous price.

Julie Gilbert, Spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia says kale is a great fad food.

“Kale itself doesn’t contain any carbohydrates at all,” says Julie.

“It’s a good source of non-heme iron. Combine it with a vitamin C food like tomatoes, and it will help dissolve the iron – great for vegetarians.”

Kale is also credited for its high levels of calcium, protein, vitamin C, vitamin A and K.

Its carotenoid, flavonoid and antioxidant properties claim to protect against cancer, control blood pressure and prevent blood clots.

If you are concerned about your eye health, kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which lowers the risks of age-related eye diseases.

However, we can’t expect kale to solve all our dietary worries.

“You can’t look at kale and say it will solve our problems like weight loss and low energy levels, because that involves a whole complex diet – but it is great to add into meals.”

The superfood comes in several varieties – Russian, Tuscan, Jersey, black and curly.

When scoping out a bunch, look for firm, deeply coloured leaves and stems.

The safest way to eat kale is when it’s cooked, or for a quick snack, why not make your own kale chips at home?

Avoid paying the hefty price for a packet and make your own with the recipe below:

KALE CHIPS –

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 140C and line two trays with baking paper.
  2. Remove kale leaves from the stem and rinse. Dry with salad spinner.
  3. Toss the leaves with oil, sprinkle salt and separate onto trays.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the leaves over, and leave for another 10 min.
  5. The chips will be ready when leaves appear paper-thin and crispy

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