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Learn the health benefits of basil & kale

{Guest Post} Vegan Jessica Nazarali shares

her knowledge of Basil & Kale


This is a guest post from Jessica Nazarali at Live Healthy Simply. Jessica lives, breathes and sleeps health. Her spare time is spent checking the ingredient labels on foods and dreaming up new recipes. Welcome to A Fresh Legacy – A leaf from my garden. 

Hi everyone!

Jessica from Live Healthy Simply here. When Kyrstie asked me to write a guest post I knew right away what recipes I wanted to share. My all time favorite herb, basil and newly found vegetable crush, kale. These are both easy to grow and can be prepared in many different ways. Most of the vegetables I ate growing up came from my Mum’s garden on our hobby farm in the Hunter Valley. While I don’t live on the farm now, I hope one day soon I will be able to grow my own basil and kale to create these simple, scrumptious dishes.

Kale – behind the scenes

Up until about a year ago I had no idea that kale existed, let alone the many health benefits that this unique vegetable has to offer. Did you know that kale has the highest ORAC rating out of all the vegetables? Foods that have a high ORAC are high in antioxidants and help to protect you from free radical damage, which causes premature aging and disease. Kale is a type of cabbage, closer to wild cabbage than domestic cabbage. I think it’s leaves look much more like lettuce leaves than cabbage leaves. I recommend eating kale lightly steamed or cooked; as kale is closely related to collard greens and some claim that it is hard for the body to digest if eaten uncooked.

Kale in the garden







 The health benefits of kale:

  • Vitamins A & C – full of antioxidants
  • Magnesium – reduces stress and relaxes muscles
  • Calcium – strengthens bones
  • Fiber – improves digestion
  • Alkaline food – due to the high levels of Potassium and low sodium content

Kale Chips Recipe

Kale Chips







 Making your own kale chips is easy, and cheaper than the pre-packaged versions you can purchase in health food stores. They last approximately a week in an airtight container.


  • 1 bunch of kale
  • Himalayan rock salt
  • Olive oil


  1. Heat the oven to 160 degrees
  2. De-stalk the kale and rip the leaves into pieces
  3. Wash and dry thoroughly
  4. Place in the oven to cook until crisp – approximately 30 minutes
  5. Serve with Himalayan rock salt and a drizzle of oil if desired
Have you eaten kale? How did you prepare it? Did you enjoy it?

The health benefits of Basil

I’m sure that you are familiar with basil; but are you familiar with basil’s health benefits?
Basil leaves contain:
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
They also have high levels of beta-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin, which help fight free radicals.

Pesto Pasta Recipe

This is my classic Pesto Past Recipe – it’s my personal favourite!


  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 large clove of garlic – or more , depending on how much you like garlic
  • a handful of nuts – traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts but feel free to substitute pine nuts for your nut of choice. I like to use 2Die4 Live Foods’ nuts
  • handful of parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan rock salt
  • Wholemeal or buckwheat pasta – I used wholemeal spaghetti


  1. Remove and wash the basil and parsley leaves
  2. Boil water and cook the pasta as instructed on the packet
  3. In a food processor add the garlic, followed by the basil leaves, parsley and oil. Add as much oil as required to keep the leaves whizzing around. Approximately 1/4 cup should be plenty. Add the nuts and set aside
  4. Once the pasta is ready to serve, add the pesto on top
  5. Add salt to taste and garnish with fresh basil leaves
Pesto Pasta
I hope that you enjoyed my guest post and a big thank you to Kyrstie for letting me stop by. I hope to see you at Live Healthy Simply soon. Jessica.
Live Healthy Simply discusses all things healthy, organic, vegan and sugar free.
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