Kale is rich with nutrients and considered one of the world’s most nutritious foods. It has a tougher leaf than spinach and stands up well to sautéing or heavy dressings. Kale is in season from the middle of winter to beginning of spring. It’s easy to grow in colder temperatures and a light frost actually produces sweeter kale leaves.
Kale comes in a variety of types and textures. Curly kale has ruffled leaves and is a deep green colour. It has a lively pungent flavour with bitter peppery qualities. Ornamental kale can be either green, white, or purple. It has a more mellow flavour and tender texture. Dinosaur kale is also known as Tuscan or Lacinato kale. The leaves are flat and are dark blue-green shade with a slightly sweeter delicate taste.
One cup of kale contains about 3 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fibre. It’s an excellent source of vitamin A, C, K, copper and manganese. It contains vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iron, magnesium, vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids phosphorus, folate, niacin, and zinc.
This wonderful leafy vegetable provides over 45 different flavonoids, including quercetin. Many of these flavonoids are also known to function as anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as antioxidants. Kale also plays an important part in our body’s detoxication process and supports our digestive system. This is one super food you definitely want to include in your kitchen!
Make sure to select only firm and deep coloured kale leaves with strong stems. Avoid leaves that have small holes and are starting to turn yellow or brown.
Wash kale only right before you are ready to use it. Washing it before storing will cause faster spoilage. You can keep kale in an airtight bag in the fridge, but it will only last 4 -5 days.
The best way I’ve found to store leafy greens and cold storage herbs, is upright in a glass jar. Add water to the jar and cover greens with a bag. Secure with an elastic band. Change the water every 2 to 3 days and your kale or other greens will thrive! Keeping the stems in water will keep the leaves from wilting. I’ve had kale and other herbs last over two weeks this way!
Preparing & Cooking Tips
Wash kale and shake excess water off. Remove the stems before eating as they are really tough. The best way I found is to fold the kale in half lengthwise and run the knife down the edge of the stem. This will cut both sides of the stem out fast. Then cut or tear into the size of pieces you desire.
If using in a salad massage kale leaves with the dressing and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. This will tenderize the kale leaves and reduce the bitterness.
Kale can been consumed raw, sautéed, steamed, baked, dehydrated, and used in smoothies!
Kale Two Ways