Kale is a popular vegetable used in salads, stews, and juicing. As a member of the cabbage family, this nutritious vegetable is finding its way more and more on our dinner table. Kale is a super healthy green, full of antioxidants, and an excellent source of vitamin C.
The health benefits of Kale
Shopping your favorite farmers’ market or favorite food store, you may notice that there are many different types of kale. The most common type you will find is the green curly kale. This super leaf has a curly shape and a hard and fibrous stem. It also comes in purple and may not be available in your shopping area.
While the large leaves are found with other leafy greens, baby kale is found in the salad section supermarkets. It is packaged either in a container of a bag.
“Kale, like other leafy greens, is very high in antioxidants. These include beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols. ” (www.healthline.com) Kale also contains more vitamin C than most vegetables.
Some of the other healthy benefits for Kale are:
- help lowering cholesterol
- help lower heart disease
- contains cancer-fighting substances
- high in beta-carotene
- help lose weight
- help manage blood pressure
A dietary tips about Kale
Kale has a hint of earthiness. Baby kale has a milder taste and is less bitter and fibrous. They are also are perfect for salads and easier to clean.
Types of Kale
Kale, this super healthy green, is available in three types. Curly kale, most commonly known, is bright green, dark green, or purple. The leaves are connected to a fibrous stalk that must be removed. This type of kale is bitter and best for stews.
The Lacinato or dinosaur kale has longer leaves and is firmer than the curly kale. It is also less bitter than the curly kale and is dark blue-green. The Red Russian kale is too fibrous to eat raw. Cooking is the best option for this reddish color leaf.
The best ways to enjoy kale
Kale is a versatile type of leaf. It is used as decoration by caterers and restaurants because it can hold its shape nicely. Raw kale is perfect in sandwiches, salads, and juice. It also adds texture to soups and delicious when sauteed with garlic and fresh herbs.
Baby Kale is less tender and best for salads and sandwiches.
A few recipes to try
- Sautéed Carrots, Kale and Watercress
- An easy and simple Kale au Gratin recipe
- Beef Stew with Kale and Zucchini
- Creamy Chickpeas, Kale and Andouille Sausage Soup
- My favorite Spinach and Kale Smoothie