Senior Citizens no longer need to sacrifice taste for healthy eating. At Discovery Villages, our Sensations Dining meals give you all the adequate nutrition you need to live a healthy, energetic and vibrant life. Our made from scratch meals take into account your dietary restrictions while making each meal delightfully enticing and deliciously pleasing.
“Eating greens is a special treat, It makes long ears and great big feet. But it sure is awful stuff to eat. I made that last part up myself.” Thumper in Bambi
Thumper in Bambi was wrong about one thing: Greens don’t have to be awful to eat! Especially for Senior Citizens, eating greens are an important component to maintaining a healthy mind and body. Greens provide important vitamins and minerals that can aid in longevity and quality of life.
These days everyone seems to be talking about the many benefits of the dark, leafy, fresh green known as Kale.
Kale is super healthy providing loads of Vitamin K, A and C. Vitamin K is great for bone health, especially for Senior Citizens. Kale also provides a great source of magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and phosphorous. Kale has been shown to lower blood glucose levels with its fiber content, helping Type I and Type II Diabetics. Kale promotes healthy digestion, as its water and fiber content make it easy for the body to absorb. Its high potassium content supports heart health, decreasing the risk of strokes, high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition, kale has chlorophyll, which may also decrease the risk of certain cancers.
How do I start reaping the benefits of Kale today?
Preparing greens, such as Kale, can be relatively easy and quick. Many people do not like eating raw kale because of its bitter flavor. Steaming, blanching or sautéing kale is a great way to make it tasty, especially in salads or pasta dishes.
Below are some simple ideas that make it super easy to incorporate Kale in a given meal or snack. Always make sure Kale is washed thoroughly before preparing. You may also want to either remove the stems or cook the stems for longer than the leaves.
Delicious and Nutritious Kale Smoothie Recipe
½ cup fresh kale
1 cup milk of your choosing, such as cow milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc. Plain yogurt can also be used.
*1 cup fresh or frozen fruit, such as berries, pineapples, bananas, etc.
¼ ripe avocado
1-2 Tbsp of your choice of sweetener, such as cane sugar, maple syrup, stevia, honey, etc.
1-2 Tbsp nut butter (optional) of your choosing, such as peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.
Blend ingredients until smooth. *If you are using fresh fruit, you will want to add ¼ cup ice. Feel good about treating your body to this delicious smoothie, which can be a snack, dessert or part of your breakfast meal!
Pre-heat your oven to 300F. After removing kale stems (optional), tear or cut the kale leaves into smaller pieces. Spread these smaller kale pieces onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Coat all of the kale leaves with ½ tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle about ½ tablespoon sea salt. (Caution: Adding too much olive oil will cause the kale to be soggy.) Bake for about ten minutes and then rotate baking sheet. Bake for another fifteen minutes. Cool for a few minutes after baking. Kale chips should look crispy, firm and taste delectable!
Making a Kale Salad?
A salad can be as creative and tasty as you desire. If raw Kale tastes too bitter, try steaming, blanching or sautéing with olive oil.
Some yummy ingredients in a Kale salad may include:
Bacon, ham, turkey or protein of your choice
Legumes such as beans, tofu, edamame, etc.
Cheese such as parmesan, asiago, romano, goat or feta
Sliced Cherry tomatoes
Seeds such as flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, chia, pomegranate
Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans
Fruit such as thinly slice apples, mangos, oranges, berries etc. Dried fruit such as raisins, currants, apricots, etc. can taste great as well.
It is easy to mix your own salad dressing and often is a much healthier option. Not only will you know the exact ingredients, but you also won’t have to worry about added chemicals, preservatives and thickening agents often used as flavoring. Below is a simple and delicious salad dressing recipe.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Mix and add your choice of delicious herbs and spices to taste.
Other salad dressing ingredient options to include could be: ginger, shredded carrots, other vinegars (such as apple cider, white wine, red wine), sweeteners such as maple syrup or molasses, onions, shallots, spices, herbs, fresh squeezed lemons, limes or oranges.
Try incorporating as many fresh greens, like Kale into your diet each day. Your body and mind will benefit tremendously!
Finally, enjoy the full benefits of kale by cooking and eating meals with community, friends and family. Socializing can make food taste better and can be more stimulating for the brain. Visit Discovery Villages today, and see how living in a supportive and fun community can benefit your overall health and well being!
Discovery Village at Southlake offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 682.253.8966.