Kale

The Brassica family produces a group of cabbages that have gained widespread attention due to their health promoting benefits. Borecole, or Kale, as it is more commonly known, is a descendent of the wild cabbage. The chlorophyll rich pigments produce its lovely shade of green and the architectural structure creates a gorgeous leaf texture. Kale has an amazing earthy flavor and nourishes many in salads, smoothies and soups. It is an appreciated wonder vegetable in the world of raw.

Varieties

Visit your local farmers’ market to discover various varieties of Kale.
Here are some varieties.

  • Blue Curl Scotch
  • Cottagers Kale
  • Curly Kale
  • Lacinato or Dino Kale
  • Red Russian
  • Redbar
  • Winterbar

Grow Your Own

Kale is easy to grow and yields a rewarding crop. Visit this wonderful site Veggie Gardening Tips for information on how to grow kale and other wonderful vegetables, fruits and herbs.

Nutritional Profile

Kale is a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It contains:

Beta-Carotene | Calcium | Copper | Dietary fiber | Iron | Folate | Lutein and Zeaxanthin | Magnesium | Manganese | Omega 3 Fatty Acids | Phosphorus | Potassium | Protein | Trypotophan | Vitamin A | Vitamin B1 [thiamin] | Vitamin B2 [riboflavin] | Vitamin B3 [niacin] | Vitamin B6 [pyridoxine] | Vitamin C | Vitamin E | Vitamin K

In Season

Though it is available throughout the year, Kale has a sweeter taste and is at its best mid-winter through the beginning of spring.

Selecting

Look for moist, crisp non-wilted kale with a fresh green color. Avoid yellow, brown or wilted leaves. Small-leaved specimens are best for their tender leaves and stems and mild flavor. Large coarser leaves work fine too once they are minced or chopped.

Preparing

Always wash kale before using to remove dirt or sand that cling to the leaves and stems. Trim off any roots; then separate the leaves. Using a glass or plastic bowl, or large basin, wash kale leaves by submerging in one part vinegar to three parts water. Swish the leaves around in the solution to get to remove dirt and sand from the deep recesses, then lift the leaves out of the water. Discard water. Repeat this technique as necessary, about 2, maybe 3 washes. Finally, rinse well with pure cold water. Dry leaves using a salad spinner or paper towel.

When using young kale leaves the stem will most likely be thin and tender, simply trim off the tips and use the stems with the leaves. If they are somewhat thicker and coarser, remove the leaves from the stem. To do so fold each leaf in half, vein-side out, and either use a paring knife to trim away the stem or pull up on the stem as you hold the folded leaf closed.

What to do with the stems? Compost it!

Storing

Place unwashed kale in a plastic bag in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. It keeps for up to a week. Bear in mind that Kale develops a stronger taste the longer it is stored.

For extended storage, wash and dry kale well, next chop or mince kale in to appropriate size, then place in a bag or container and freeze.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you enjoy kale try these recipes:

Kale Salad with Tomato Dressing

Winter Nori Roll

Speak Your Mind

*