Kale - a vegetable many adore, yet some detest. There is not really a middle ground. Unless, of course, you're one of those who eat it just because it's listed as a Super Food. They claim Kale has numerous health benefits, including the fact that it's high in Vitamin C.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to a high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients, as well as carotenoids and flavonoids associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds. Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale is known to bind bile acids and help lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. This is the case more so when kale is cooked instead of eaten raw.
Personally, I find my own relationship to this leafy green vegetable wanders and wanes. Last year I loved it! This spring, I couldn’t get enough of it and was happy once the weather warmed enough to plant it again. Then, all of a sudden, mid summer I didn’t care if I ever ate it again. Perhaps this simply mirrors the plant’s growing cycle. Or is a reflection of how much I've eaten throughout the past two growing seasons...
Typically considered a “cool weather crop” Kale can be planted early in the spring and eaten throughout the season, although it can be a bit tough in the high heat of mid to late summer. If you hold out, and let it grow all season, experts say kale tastes best in late fall, just after a light frost has touched its leaves. Regardless, I’ve found Kale to be a great addition to the garden, in part because it is so long lasting, and simple to prepare.
If you're looking for another way to prepare Kale, apart from simply stir-frying as a side dish, or adding garlic, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta Cheese to eat open face on a piece of toasted drizzled with olive oil, try these two recipes and see what you think. They are the perfect resource for times when you have “too much kale.”
Rubbed Kale Salad
You can get as creative as you’d like with this simple recipe by adding some feta cheese, dill, or anything else you fancy. Rubbing the leaves begins to break down the fibers, and is considered a form of cooking the vegetable. Enjoy!
This time, you’ll take your washed and torn Kale Leaves and gently mix them with oil. Add salt and pepper and spread on a cookie sheet. Heat oven to 350 degrees, place cookie sheet on bottom rack and cook the coated Kale for 5-10 minutes on each side, until crispy. Remove from oven, and let cool. The chips will crisp a bit more after sitting for a few minutes. Enjoy.
P.S. - Once cool and dry, these store fairly well in a storage container for a couple days.
More about Kale - Kale or borecole is a vegetable of the plant species Brassica oleracea that comes in several varieties. Some with green leaves, others with purple leaves, and the central leaves do not form a head. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms of vegetables.
Amount Per 1 cup, chopped (67 g)100 grams1 cup, chopped (67 g)
Total Fat 0.6 g Saturated fat 0.1 g Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g Monounsaturated fat 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 25 mg Potassium 329 mg Total Carbohydrate 6 g Protein 2.9 g Vitamin A 133%
Vitamin C 134% Calcium 10% Iron 5% Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 10% Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium7%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.