Quick Crock Pot Kale with Fresh Ginger and Orange Essence (low carb, low calorie, quick)

I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more low carb low calorie greens into my diet…and by ways I mean EASY ways without much cleanup.  Cooking greens in your crock pot is a quick no fuss way to cook them while you are doing something else. The fresh ginger in this recipe gives the kale a nice zip and the 1/2 tablespoon of orange juice gives it just a bit of citrus essence.  Both kale and ginger are nutritional powerhouses.  More on that below!

After cooking, this made about 2 cups of cooked kale.  One cup of plain cooked kale has approximately 4.5 g. of net carbs and 40 calories. I made this in my 5 quart slow cooker.

Ingredients:
1/2 pound of curly kale (this is 1 small head of kale) washed and chopped.  Remove any thick bottom stems.
1/2 tablespoon of finely diced fresh peeled ginger root
1/2 tablespoon of juice from an orange
1/2 tablespoon of olive oil

Mix all of the ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours.  Total cook time will depend on your specific slow cooker and how soft you like your kale.  I like mine to still be a little crunchy.

Health Benefits of Kale:
Kale has been described as the “world’s healthiest food.”  One cup of chopped kale contains 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is an antioxidant.  Eating a diet rich in vitamin K can reduce your overall risk of cancer (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).  Kale is also a good source of minerals, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and eye-health promoting compounds lutein and zeaxanthin.  Beyond vitamins and antioxidants, the fiber content of kale is very high which helps binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels.  The high fiber content also helps you feel full for a very long time!

Health Benefits of Fresh Ginger:
Like kale, ginger is rich in anti-oxidants.  It has anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties that may do a great deal to prevent atherosclerosis and help with arthritis and stiffness. It is also great for digestion.  Fresh ginger is inexpensive and stays good for a long time in the fridge.  It is great added to stir-fry, to flavor water or for making fresh ginger tea.  It has a very slight spicy taste to it which I love.

Need a scale for weighing food?  I have had this Biggest Loser scale forever and I love it.  You can put any bowl or plate on it and then “zero it out” to weight your ingredients.

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