KALE

Fresh, crisp, slightly bitter, with a healthy dose of grass and earth, kale has a dense texture and mouthfeel. 

KaleToday’s flavor is inspired by a kale salad I just made for this afternoon. Kale, pumpkin seeds, nectarine slices and a light olive oil and lime dressing. Kale is in the brassica family, which also includes broccoli and cauliflower. It has been a darling of the vegetable world in recent years and can be found in marketplaces around the globe.  Interestingly, according to historians, kale was one of the more popular vegetables across Europe with first recorded use and cultivation in the 5th century A.D., until the middle ages when cabbages became more widely cultivated.

From a culinary perspective, kale is pretty versatile. It’s easily sautéed, stir fried, baked, boiled, steamed and even grilled (yum). Personally, my favorite way to enjoy kale is raw or baked crispy. If consumed raw then it should be massaged with your hands until it is a dense green, this helps break down the cell wall, making that nutrients more easily digested and assimilated.  To bake kale, I heat the oven to about 350, space the kale leaves on a cookie sheet, removing the larger part of the stem but still keeping some intact. And then bake for about 10 or 15 minutes until they are crispy. You have to watch carefully because they can go from barely brown to burnt really fast if you are not paying attention. I remove them from the oven, sprinkle them with salt or nutritional yeast and then crunch on them when cool. Seriously yum! 

kalechips

From a nutritional perspective, Kale is packed with all the healthy goodness that its brassica family members contain. Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients abound. Kale has received much critical acclaim as a powerhouse of antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Studies suggest that the amount of quercetin and kaempferol in kale contribute significantly to decreased risk of a multitude of cancers. The chemical compounds in kale also contribute to decreased cholesterol, increased immune function and a decrease in oxidative stress. They also decrease systemic inflammation and contribute to detoxification of cells. That being said, kale in moderation is a good thing; however, overconsumption of kale can contribute to hypothyroidism. So if you are one of those put kale in everything, smoothie drinkers, (like I used to be) you will want to vary your vegetables and not rely on kale as much.

Other caveats about kale:

  • Kale has a significant amount of vitamin K so it is one you will want to avoid if you are taking blood thinners.
  • The oxalates in kale can also inhibit calcium uptake in the body.

Fresh, crispy, slightly bitter, with a healthy dose of grass and earth, kale has a dense texture and mouthfeel. Today’s flavor is inspired by a kale salad I just made for this afternoon. Kale, pumpkin seeds, nectarine slices and a light olive oil and lime dressing. Kale is in the brassica family, which also includes broccoli and cauliflower. It has been a darling of the vegetable world in recent years and can be found in marketplaces around the globe.  Interestingly, according to historians, kale was one of the more popular vegetables across Europe with first recorded use and cultivation in the 5th century A.D., until the middle ages when cabbages became more widely cultivated.

 

From a culinary perspective, kale is pretty versatile. It’s easily sautéed, stir fried, baked, boiled, steamed and even grilled (yum). Personally, my favorite way to enjoy kale is raw or baked crispy. If consumed raw then it should be massaged with your hands until it is a dense green, this helps break down the cell wall, making that nutrients more easily digested and assimilated.  To bake kale, I heat the oven to about 350, space the kale leaves on a cookie sheet, removing the larger part of the stem but still keeping some intact. And then bake for about 10 or 15 minutes until they are crispy. You have to watch carefully because they can go from barely brown to burnt really fast if you are not paying attention. I remove them from the oven, sprinkle them with salt or nutritional yeast and then crunch on them when cool. Seriously yum!

 

From a nutritional perspective, Kale is packed with all the healthy goodness that its brassica family members contain. Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients abound. Kale has received much critical acclaim as a powerhouse of antioxidants and other phytonutrients. Studies suggest that the amount of quercetin and kaempferol in kale contribute significantly to decreased risk of a multitude of cancers. The chemical compounds in kale also contribute to decreased cholesterol, increased immune function and a decrease in oxidative stress. They also decrease systemic inflammation and contribute to detoxification of cells.

 

Kale has a significant amount of vitamin K so it is one you will want to avoid if you are taking blood thinners.