Did You Know?
Kale, or borecole, which means "farmer's cabbage" in Dutch, is from the Brassica family of vegetables. This includes broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, and brussel sprouts. It generally has curly, ruffled dark green leaves, and a fibrous stalk, but can also be white or purple.
Although it's availalble year-round, kale is often considered a cold weather green because mild frosts boost the sugars in its leaves, making it sweeter and tastier!
Like all leafy green veggies, kale is an amazing source of vitamins and minerals. It's very high in vitamins K, A, and C, and is a great source of manganese, fiber, copper, tryptophan, calcium, vitamin B6, and potassium. And one cup of chopped kale is only 36 calories, so it is a great healthy snack or addition to any meal!
Shopping and Storage
When shopping, look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist, hardy stems. It should be on display in a cool area and have no browning, yellowing, or holes in the leaves. Kale is available year-round, but peaks in mid-Winter and Spring, so it should be easy to find at your local grocery store.
When storing kale, keep in an airtight, plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to five days. The longer you store it, the more bitter it will taste. Also, don't wash it until ready to eat, because the moisture will encourage spoiling.
Kale may seem a bit daunting at first, but sautee it with some olive oil and garlic, and it's a delicious side dish. It is also great chopped and added into soups, or steamed. It can even be eaten raw in salad. There are many easy ways to add kale into your diet!