Why Kale?

Kale is the newest craze on the food scene! Isn’t it. It was once a plate garnish. Looked pretty. Tasted bitter. Today there are so many varieties, your bound to find a variety you would like. You can make a salads that lasts for days even dressed recipe to follow….

While not as well researched as some of its fellow cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cabbage, kale is a food that you can count on for some unsurpassed health benefits, if for no other reason than its exceptional nutrient richness. It is definitely one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence. Kale is loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds… some of which have powerful medicinal properties.

Single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains (1):

Vitamin A: 206% of the Recommended Daily Requirements (RDA) (from beta-carotene)
Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA
Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA
Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA
Manganese: 26% of the RDA
Calcium: 9% of the RDA
Copper: 10% of the RDA
Potassium: 9% of the RDA
Magnesium: 6% of the RDA
Then it contains 3% or more of the RDA for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus.

This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.

Popular Types of Kale

Curly Kale

Curly Kale is probably the most recognizable kale sold in bunches at your local grocery store. It is usually bright or dark green or purple in color, has tight ruffled leaves and fibrous stalks that can be difficult to chop, but easy to tear if fresh. It has a noticeable pungent flavor with peppery and bitter qualities, so seek out younger looking leaves for less bitterness.

Lacianto Kale

Lacinato Kale (also known as Dinosaur) is a kale variety that features dark blue-green leaves with a slightly wrinkled and firm texture. The hearty leaves of Dino Kale are tall and narrow and retains its firm texture even after it has been cooked. It has a slightly sweeter and more delicate taste than the curly kind with its flavor described as deep and earthy, but not so bitter with an almost nutty sweetness.

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale has flat, fringed leaves that resemble big oak leaves, large arugula leaves, or the outer leaves of a mature cabbage. Its leaves can have a red tinge and a reddish-purple tinge to the stems, and has a great flavor that is described as sweet and mild with a little bit of pepperiness. Although Red Russian Kale is one of the sweetest kales, be sure to remove as much of the stems as possible before cooking. It has incredibly tough and woody fibrous stems that are difficult to chew and swallow, and they could cause stomach upset.

Try this recipe!

Raw Kale Salad Makes 4 servings

8 ounces red Russian kale, washed, dried, de-ribbed and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Parmesan shavings, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

Salt, to taste

Clean and chop kale and put in salad bowl. Toss with pine nuts and Parmesan.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, honey and salt, and toss with salad. Let sit for about 20 minutes before serving.

What ever your fancy, kale is health and the new vegetable phenomenon. Surprise your family with something new!

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