Kale is what is known as a cruciferous vegetable. All that means is that it is in the cabbage family along with broccoli, cauliflower, and (my favorite) Brussels sprouts. There are three types of kale: curly, ornamental, and dinosaur.
To me, raw kale tastes a lot like raw broccoli (so, delicious), which would make sense. I can easily see kale as a way to spice up a spinach salad.
Peak SeasonKale is available throughout the year, although it is more widely available from mid-winter through the beginning of spring.
Nutrients in Kale*1.00 cup, cooked (130.00 grams)
omega 3 fatty acids5.4%
vitamin B2 (riboflavin)5.2%
vitamin B1 (thiamin)4.6%
vitamin B3 (niacin)3.2%
* Hijacked from The World's Healthiest Foods website
Health BenefitsBesides being packed full of vitamins and minerals, kale has a number of noted health benefits. Incorporating kale into your diet can help lower cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. Eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables can also lower your risk of cancer. Again, I take that sort of research with a grain of salt, but any chance is better than no chance at all.
Pick Your KaleLook for firm, dark leaves and healthy stems. Small leaves will be more mild in flavor. Kale can range in color from dark green to purple, so some varieties may be appropriate for adding color to salads and other dishes.
StorageStore kale in a cool environment to keep the leaves from wilting. Kale does best in the refrigerator for up to five days, and the longer it is stored, the more bitter it becomes. You should not wash kale before storing.
- WebMD: The Truth about Kale
- WebMD: The Super-Veggies: Cruciferous Vegetables
- The World's Healthiest Foods: Kale
- AICR's Foods that Fight Cancer